5 Legionnaires' Disease cases found in Shelby Co. hotel

5 Legionnaires' Disease cases found in Shelby Co. hotel
Published: Sep. 22, 2016 at 12:58 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2016 at 9:17 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Health Department confirms five individual cases of Legionnaires' Disease in Shelby County.

SCHD said the cases were found at La Quinta Inn, located at 2979 Millbranch Road. The hotel has since been closed.

SCHD officials are working with hotel staff to identify the sources of the transmission of the disease to prevent future spreading, as well as educate staff and patrons on the disease, including signs and symptoms.

"I'm in awe right now," one hotel guests said. "Scared because I don't know what it is. I've never heard of it before. I mean, they should have told me."

Guests at the hotel said they noticed something was different.

"I knew something was up," one guest said. "There was some guys in the dining facility with little vials of water all over the table."

The hotel gave guests a letter written by SCHD. The letter told guests if they had any symptoms within two weeks, to go to the doctor and contact them.

However, guests said they should have been told before the investigation started about the problem.

"I really think we should be refunded our money," one guest said.

Legionnaires' Disease is caused by Legionella, a type of bacteria found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The disease is contracted when individuals breathe a mist or vapor containing the bacteria.

SCHD said many people who are exposed to the disease do not become sick, but symptoms can be similar to forms of pneumonia, including cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Symptoms can last between two and 14 days after exposure.

Legionnaires' Disease almost never spreads from person to person. The disease is usually successfully treated by antibiotics.

To learn more about the disease, click here.

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