Two guests of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas who stayed at the premises on separate occasions in March and April are reported to have contracted Legionnaires' disease. Nevada authorities, as well as the hotel itself, are taking remediation steps in order to ensure the safety of the other guests.
Legionnaires' Disease In Las Vegas
On Friday, the Southern Nevada Health District announced that it is currently investigating cases of Legionnaires' disease among two separate guests of the Rio Hotel.
In response to the first case of Legionnaires' disease, hotel Rio scheduled for an environmental test for its water system which evidently came out positive for the presence of Legionella bacteria. It then conducted chlorine disinfection; however, after the second case was reported, the Health District conducted its own testing and found traces of Legionella bacteria all throughout the water system.
Apart from the chlorine disinfection of the establishment's water system and rooms, the hotel is relocating its guests from rooms in which remediation efforts are being taken. It is also taking steps to inform both past and present guests of the incident.
The announcement stated that the hotel and the Health District are working closely together to conduct remediation efforts and to ensure the effectiveness of their remediation measures via follow-up tests.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Legionnaires' is a severe type of pneumonia that is caused by the Legionella bacteria. It is contracted by breathing in droplets that contain the bacteria which can cause Pneumonia symptoms such as muscle pain, cough, shortness of breath, fever, and headache.
Anyone who develops Pneumonia symptoms that may have been exposed to Legionella must immediately go to the doctor and report any hot tub use, nights spent away from home, or any recent hospital stay so that urine or phlegm tests could be conducted to see whether the sickness is caused by the said bacteria.
Though most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not get Legionnaires, people who are over 50 years old, former smokers, people with chronic lung disease, and those with a weakened immune system have an increased risk for contracting Legionnaires'. Further, even if Legionnaires' can be treated by antibiotics, 1 out of 10 people with Legionnaires' die from the disease.
Common sources of the infection are water sources such as shower water, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and cooling towers. Past outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease have been associated with large water systems such as those in hospitals, cruise ships, and hotels.