Two people contracted Legionnaires’ disease after staying at a downtown Chicago hotel, public health officials said Friday.
The hotel guests were staying at the Embassy Suites hotel at 600 North State Street, the Chicago Department of Public Health said. They have both been treated and are recovering.
“At this time, it is not known whether the Embassy Suites was the source of the bacteria that caused the two people to become sick,” officials said. “Potential exposure sites are being sampled and hotel management is cooperating fully with the investigation. There is no immediate risk to the public.”
Hilton, the parent company of Embassy Suites, did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Legionnaires' disease is a serious type of pneumonia. People can get Legionnaires' disease by breathing in small water droplets containing Legionella bacteria, health officials said. Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath and severe headache.
At the health department’s recommendation, Embassy Suites has closed all water features while testing is underway and thorough disinfection is being performed. This will greatly reduce the risk of Legionnaires' disease, if any Legionella was present, officials said.
"We are working to help prevent additional people from becoming sick," said Dr. Julie Morita, the CDPH’s commissioner. "Individuals who believe they may have been exposed and who develop symptoms should contact their provider."
Once exposed to Legionella bacteria, officials said, disease risk may be increased among individuals who are 50 years or older, who smoke cigarettes, or who have certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system.
If you have experienced these symptoms within two weeks of staying at the Embassy Suites at 600 North State Street, contact your health provider.