Atlanta’s sixth-largest hotel has shut down as health officials investigate an outbreak of the potentially deadly Legionnaires’ disease.
The Sheraton Atlanta on Courtland Street, a popular downtown convention hotel, shut down on July 15 after guests who recently stayed at the hotel tested positive for the disease, which causes serious lung infections.
A number of guests complained about lung problems after a convention. It is believed all five people sickened with Legionnaires were attending the same conference at the Sheraton Atlanta.
What is Legionnaire’s Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia that often requires hospitalization, caused by the Legionella bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made building water systems. It can multiply in water fountains and ice-making machines, as well as air conditioning units.
How Could Legionnaire’s Disease Spread at a Hotel?
You can’t catch Legionnaires’ disease from person-to-person contact. Instead, most people get sick with the disease from inhaling the bacteria. Hotel guests may breathe in mist or steam and the bacterium makes its way into the lungs.
Investigators have converged on the Sheraton Atlanta hotel, testing the water in pools, fountains, hot tubs, faucets and showerheads as they search for what caused the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Older adults, smokers, and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable.
What are the Symptoms of Legionnaire’s Disease?
Guests who stayed at the hotel may be experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. Legionnaires’ usually develops two to 14 days after exposure to the bacteria and often begins with these symptoms:
- muscle pain or aches
- a fever that might be 104 degrees or higher
By the second or third day, other symptoms may include:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- confusion or other mental changes
Symptoms usually begin two to 14 days after being exposed to the bacteria, but it can take longer. People should watch for symptoms for about two weeks after exposure. Left untreated, the disease can be fatal.
What Can Sheraton Atlanta Hotel Guests Do?
Any guests who stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta hotel at any time between June 12 and July 15 should speak with their health-care provider if they are experiencing any symptoms of respiratory illness.
If you or a loved one has stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta Downton hotel at 165 Courtland St NE in Atlanta, we want to help. Our experienced attorneys can help guide you through the next steps in your case.
Cory Watson Attorneys has represented hundreds of clients throughout the country in Legionnaire’s Disease outbreaks. Our experience includes cases from those that have stayed in hotels like the Sheraton Atlanta, hospitals, nursing homes, and military installations.
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Let our experience be your strength. If you were exposed to the Legionella bacterium, the experienced Legionnaires’ disease lawyers at Cory Watson can help you determine your legal rights. If you have lost a loved one due to Legionnaires’ disease, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
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