Chicago

Woman Says She Contracted Legionnaires’ Disease During Chicago Trip

Public health officials said last week that two people, who both stayed at the Embassy Suites hotel at 600 North State Street, contracted Legionnaires’ disease

A woman who stayed a downtown hotel on a trip to Chicago said she was unknowingly exposed to a dangerous bacteria during her stay.

Public health officials said last week that two people, who both stayed at the Embassy Suites hotel at 600 North State Street, contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said it was not known if the hotel was the source of the bacteria but that potential exposure sites were being sampled.

Sharon, who was visiting from Lawrence, Massachusetts, said she was healthy when she arrived in the city, but began feeling ill after using the hot tub at the hotel.

“The following day I feel like me and my husband feel like allergies are acting up,” she said.

As she returned home, the symptoms worsened.

“I started to have flu-like symptoms and developed a very bad fever,” Sharon said.

On Sept. 11, she was admitted to the intensive care unit of a local hospital and diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

“I was in respiratory shock,” she said.

Sharon was released from the hospital nine days later and said she quickly contacted the hotel and told a manager about her diagnosis. She later contacted the city’s health department and action was taken.

“Our primary concern is always the safety and well-being of our guests and employees,” hotel General Manager Ed Buckley said in a statement. “We are working closely with the city and are taking all appropriate steps as directed by the Disease Control division at the Chicago Department of Public Health while they conduct their investigation.”

The hotel’s fountain, hot tubs and pool remained closed Monday while testing continued, officials said. They maintain there is “no risk to the public.”

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