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Legionnaires’ cases linked to MO, Comfort Inn

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) advised recent guests of a Comfort Inn & Suites in Macon, Missouri, of possible exposure to Legionnaires’ disease from the use of the pool and hot tub, or from being near them.

This April, two individuals diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease were guests of the Comfort Inn during the last week of March and used the pool and hot tub there.

While it is not known whether the hotel was the source of their exposure to the bacteria, tests of the hot tub indicated the presence of Legionella bacteria. Other test results at the hotel were negative.

“In situations like this, we work closely with our local health partners on surveillance and mitigation strategies,” said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. “Upon detection of a patient with Legionnaires' disease, this includes appropriate public notifications and implementing disinfection strategies at the identified source.”

The hotel said they are cooperating with the DHSS.

They said the bacteria was only limited to the hot tub area and that they isolated that area.

DHSS was working with the hotel, which is developing a hot tub and pool water management plan.

To prevent more people from becoming sick, DHSS conducted an investigation and monitored the facility to implement any needed public health safeguards.

Risk to those who used the pool and/ or hot tub, or were in the room where the pool and hot tub is located, during March and April may be greater for those who are 50 or older, smoke cigarettes or have certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system.

They advised those who develop symptoms of pneumonia after staying at the Macon Comfort Inn & Suites to seek medical attention right away. The hotel is located near heavily traveled Highways 36 and 63.

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