In an update on the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak linked to the Guest House at Graceland, Shelby County health officials put the case count at nine. Officials request that individuals who visited the Guest House at Graceland, located at 3600 Elvis Presley Blvd., between May 15 and June 26, 2017 and have experienced any of the signs or symptoms of Legionnaires Disease to contact them at (901) 222-9299.

Legionella pneumophila bacteria/CDC
Legionella pneumophila bacteria/CDC

The Tennessee Department of Health has also created a survey for individuals who stayed at the hotel during the investigation period.

The aquatics facilities have been authorized to reopen. Sampling that occurred after remediation demonstrated no viable legionella bacteria.

LISTEN: Legionnaires’ disease and Legionella, Part One

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.

LISTEN: Legionnaires’ disease and Legionella, Part Two

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