Health officials have reported at least five people contracted Legionnaires' disease while attending a convention at an Atlanta (Georgia state) hotel. The affected hotel closed as a precaution, according to reports on Tuesday, July 16, and some 400 guests were relocated to other accommodations. As of Wednesday, July 17, officials have not confirmed if the Legionella bacteria is present at the hotel.
Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by a bacterial infection of Legionella in the lungs that is contracted by breathing contaminated water vapor or dust. It is most likely to affect the middle-aged or the elderly, particularly those with a history of smoking or chronic lung disease. The most common symptoms are cough, shortness of breath, high fever, headaches, and muscle pain.
Individuals in Atlanta are advised to monitor updates to the situation and adhere to instructions issued by authorities. Individuals experiencing the above symptoms should seek immediate medical attention, especially if part of a demographic at high-risk for the disease.
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