At a hotel in Grantville, one person and possibly more have been infected by bacteria that cause the deadly Legionnaires’ disease. A source at the Pennsylvania Department of Health is confident that recent guests who may have been exposed to Legionella bacteria have been notified and that “… there is no reason to believe there is a general risk to the community.”
People with Legionnaires’ disease, also known as Legionellosis, are generally infected after inhaling airborne particles containing the bacteria. When large water systems are poorly maintained, Legionella can quickly breed and contaminate components such as faucets and showers or even hot tubs and central air conditioning systems. Though the bacteria can be detected with a simple water test, many buildings have not implemented testing guidelines.
Up to 30 percent of Legionnaires’ disease can result in death according to the Centers for Disease Control. When antibiotic treatment is delayed, fatalities can reach up to 50 percent.
Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia that commonly causes a cough, fever and chills. Sometimes, Legionnaires’ disease symptoms can also include diarrhea, vomiting or loss of coordination. The onset of these and other symptoms from the time of exposure can range from two to 14 days.
When people stay at a hotel, they should not have to be concerned about potentially deadly bacteria flowing in the air because of the lack of sanitary conditions in the water system. Recent guests of the Grantville Comfort Suites who have contracted Legionnaires’ disease are urged to speak with an attorney about their legal rights.