Case of Legionnaires’ disease reported in Bethany

Legionnaires Disease

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, in collaboration with the Harrison County Health Department, is advising recent guests of the Quality Inn & Suites located at 496 S. 39th Street in Bethany, Missouri, of a potential health concern related to possible exposures to Legionella bacteria.

DHSS received notification that an individual diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease in July 2021 had stayed at the Quality Inn & Suites in Bethany in mid-July 2021. It is unknown whether the hotel was the source of the bacteria that caused the individual to become sick. Testing of water from the pool, spa and the potable water system indicated the presence of Legionella bacteria. The Quality Inn & Suites is currently closed to allow for the disinfecting and maintaining all the facility’s water systems.

People can get Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia, by breathing in small water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. In general, people do not spread Legionnaires’ disease to other people.

DHSS is actively collaborating with the HCHD to help prevent additional people from becoming sick by conducting an investigation and working with the facility to implement any needed public health safeguards. Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not get sick. However, an individual’s risk may increase if 50 years or older, smoke cigarettes, or have certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system.

Symptoms usually begin 2 to 10 days after being exposed to the bacteria, but it can take longer, so people should watch for symptoms for about 2 weeks after exposure. If you develop symptoms of pneumonia within two weeks of staying, working, or visiting the Quality Inn & Suites in Bethany, seek medical attention right away. Pneumonia symptoms typically include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Additional symptoms may be present, such as confusion, nausea, or diarrhea. Ask your doctor to test you with both a urine test and a respiratory culture. If you test positive, ask your doctor to report your illness to your local or state health department as soon as possible after your diagnosis.

DHSS and the HCHD will continue working with Quality Inn & Suites in Bethany, which is taking proactive measures to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease to ensure protection of the health of guests and employees. Additional information on Legionella is available from the CDC website.