Georgia health officials investigate more cases of Legionnaires at downtown Atlanta hotel

Outbreak at popular hotel in Atlanta sparks concern

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Georgia health officials are investigating more cases of legionnaires disease at a popular hotel in downtown Atlanta.

The Sheraton hotel in Atlanta is still closed after a number of guests complained about lung problems after a convention a couple of weeks ago. So far, the Georgia Department of Health is investigating five cases of legionnaires disease that may have come from that hotel.

Legionnaires disease is a rare, sometimes deadly form of pneumonia.

"It typical can happen in areas of stagnant water. You usually see it in areas like hot tubs. And what it is this water isn’t kept clean, it can develop this particular organism and then if it ever becomes aerosolized like a hot tub, people can inhale it and then it gets in the lungs and people get really sick,” Paul McDonald, a nurse practitioner with the C the NP in Fultondale said.

The news comes just weeks before a big Dragon-Con event. The Sheraton hotel is one of the hosts for it.

Health experts say legionnaires can feel like the flu. If you ever catch a case, you need to seek medical attention immediately.

"It can be treated. If you have suspicions, you’ve been traveling. You think you might have been exposed, you all of a sudden become sick, it’s definitely recommended to go to the hospital because it can require IV antibiotics,” McDonald said.

Georgia officials say right now they don’t have any direct evidence linking the Sheraton hotel as the source but out of an abundance of caution, the hotel has relocated hundreds of guests as they try and find the source.

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