In a follow-up to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak linked to the La Quinta Inn located at 2979 Millbranch Road in Memphis, Shelby County health officials have reported an additional confirmed case, bringing the tally to six.
In addition, The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) reports working with the La Quinta Inn to identify and notify those individuals who visited the hotel during the time of exposure beginning July 1, 2016 through the date of closure, Sept. 22, which includes more than 6,000 reservations.
Legionnaires Disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella which is found naturally in the environment, usually in water. It is contracted when individuals breathe in a mist or vapor (small droplets of water in the air) containing the bacteria.
Many exposed to Legionnaires do not become ill, but symptoms can be similar to forms of pneumonia including cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches and headaches which can last between two and 14 days after exposure. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat the symptoms.
The key to preventing Legionnaires Disease is maintenance of the water systems in which Legionella bacteria grow, including drinking water systems, hot tubs, decorative fountains and cooling towers. Persons at increased risk of infection, including the elderly, smokers, individuals with suppressed or compromised immune systems, may choose to avoid high-risk exposures, such as being in or near a hot tub.
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