By: Candess Zona-Mendola of MakeFoodSafe

The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that case counts are up to 10 now in the outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease linked to the downtown Atlanta Sheraton hotel. The property remains closed amid the outbreak and its investigation. At this time, no definitive source at the property has been confirmed to have caused the illnesses. According to local media reports, the “investigators continued testing water in pools, fountains, hot tubs, faucets, chillers and other locations at the hotel.”

This image shows Legionella colonies growing on a Petri dish.
Image/Otto Schwake

Health agents have not yet confirmed the hotel is the root source of the outbreak. However, the investigators are not conducting testing at any other locations or nearby hotels. Instead, it “is looking for clues at the Sheraton, which hosted all of those who are ill, either as hotel guests or visitors,” according to the state health department.

During this time, the Georgia Department of Public Health recommends that anyone who may have been exposed and are having symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease seek medical attention. Symptoms may include:

  • cough
  • confusion
  • headache
  • fever
  • weakness or fatigue
  • muscle aches
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • gastrointestinal issues, such as watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, or nausea
  • lethargy

As always, it is a good idea to report any cases of Legionnaires’ disease to your local health department.