IDPH and Cook County Department of Public Healthcontinue to investigate the Legionnaires’ disease cluster
SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recently linked two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease to the AmericInn by Wyndham Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois, and is currently investigating the cluster with the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH). Both confirmed cases reported use of water in their guest rooms, the hot tub, and pool during hotel stays in July and August, 2019. IDPH and CCDPH conducted an environmental investigation of the hotel on August 15, 2019. The AmericInn voluntarily closed its hot tub and pool during the investigation and they will remain closed until the investigation is completed. The hotel reports no employee illnesses and is sending notifications to all guests that stayed from June 13, 2019 to present, instructing them to contact the CCDPH if they have been or are ill with respiratory symptoms.
“As the epidemiological and environmental investigation of this Legionnaires’ disease cluster continues, it is important to release this information to ensure the guests are aware and seek treatment if they become symptomatic,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Legionnaires’ disease usually begins with a high fever (102 degrees F to 105 degrees F), chills, muscle aches, cough and shortness of breath, and symptoms usually develop up to two weeks after exposure.”
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection (pneumonia) that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria. It is not transmitted person-to-person. Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems, like hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and cruise ships. The bacterium can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems, like hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, and decorative fountains.
Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed to Legionella bacteria. People at increased risk of Legionnaire’s disease are those 50 years of age or older, or those who have certain risk factors, such as being a current or former smoker, having a chronic disease, or having a weakened immune system. In 2018, Illinois reported 510cases of Legionnaires’ disease statewide with 242 confirmed to date in 2019.