A Decatur woman is dead following a suspected Legionella outbreak at the Sheraton hotel in Atlanta. Nearly a month after her death, health authorities have confirmed that Cameo Garrett of Decatur succumbed to heart disease aggravated by Legionnaires’ disease that might have been contracted at the Atlanta hotel.
The suspected outbreak at the Atlanta hotel could be one of the largest in the country. As of recent, 61 probable cases are linked to the incident and 12 cases have been confirmed through testing.
Garnett was attending a conference at the Atlanta Sheraton at the time of the suspected outbreak. Several other guests at the function have also been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
The Legionella bacteria is contracted through inhaling microscopic water droplets containing the bacteria. Mild cases generally result in Pontiac Fever – a flu-like disease that affects the respiratory system. However, serious cases can lead to a deadly form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease.
According to the CDC, the Legionella bacteria can be found naturally in freshwater environments. However it can become a serious health concern if the bacteria grows and multiplies in building water systems.
Health officials have yet to determine whether or not the hotel is the source of the outbreak. The Sheraton has been closed for testing and may remain closed depending on test results and whether or not remediation is necessary.
In order to prevent the spread of the Legionella bacteria, building water systems should be tested and monitored for the presence of the bacteria. Legionella compliance is a critical concern for facilities and their owners. For more information about protecting your facility with Legionella Compliance Solutions, contact LCS NYC today or call (212) 804-8552