In a follow-up on the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak linked to The Guest House at Graceland has grown to five cases, the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) tweeted today.
Health officials reported the fourth case last week and the fifth case today. The SCHD says if someone who stayed at The Guest House at Graceland May 15-June 26 AND had/has Legionnaires symptoms, they should call them at (901) 222-9299.
A Fox 13 Memphis report notes that the aquatic facilities at the hotel in the 3600 block of Elvis Presley Blvd. have been temporarily closed.
Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious lung infection caused by the bacteria called Legionella. It is usually spread through water droplets in the air. Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks are often associated with large or complex water systems like those found in hospitals, hotels and cruise ships.
Legionella is naturally found in water, especially warm water. Hot tubs (or spas) that are not cleaned and disinfected enough can become contaminated with Legionella. A person can get infected with Legionella when they breathe in steam or mist from a contaminated hot tub.
Legionnaires’ disease CANNOT be spread from person to person.
Legionnaires’ disease can cause pneumonia symptoms. If you experience coughing, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headache, or fever, see a doctor right away. Be sure to mention if you have used a hot tub, spend nights away from home, or stayed in a hospital in the last two weeks.
Legionnaire’ disease is serious but can be treated with antibiotics. Most people who get sick, need care in a hospital, but make a full recovery.
Certain people are at an increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease. Most healthy people do not get sick after exposure to Legionella. The following groups are at an increased risk:
- People 50 years or older
- Current or former smokers
- People with a chronic lung disease, such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- People with a weakened immune system from diseases like cancer, diabetes, or kidney failure
- People who take drugs that weaken the immune system