2 cases of Legionnaires' Disease reported in McHenry

June 6, 2008 8:35:12 PM PDT
The state's Department of Public Health is investigating two cases of Legionnaires' Disease.The source of the potentially deadly disease may be a hotel in the northwest suburbs.

Both of the people who got Legionnaires stayed at that hotel.

Health officials are investigating the Hampton Inn located in northwest suburban McHenry.

Investigators say the two people who have been diagnosed with Legionnaires Disease both used the hot tub on the same day at the end of last month. The pool and hot tub are now closed to guests.

"I'm concerned, very surprised," said Chris Birong, hotel guest. "You have to wonder about the cleanliness and the upkeep of this place."

Legionnaires' Disease is a water-borne bacterial disease that can grow in a hot tub or pool. It's named after an infamous outbreak at a hotel in Philadelphia in 1976 during an American Legion Convention. Two hundred twenty-one people became sick; 34 died.

No one from the Hampton Inn would go on camera Friday night, but the hotel released this statement:

"The management has and will continue to cooperate with the state Department of Public Health as well as the local McHenry County Department of Public Health. Management has also begun an independent investigation of the circumstances. The safety and health of the guest is of utmost priority to our management."

Health officials say the symptoms are serious.

"Typically it's associated with symptoms like a high fever anywhere between 102 and 105, chills and a cough. Sometimes they can even have muscle aches, headaches and so forth. But again, it can be severe and even lead to death," said


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