Officials warn of possible Legionnaires' disease exposure

Associated Press

MACON, Mo. (AP) — State and local health officials are warning of a potential for Legionnaires' disease exposure at a hotel in Missouri. 

Two people were diagnosed with the severe form of pneumonia after using the hot tub or the pool late last month while staying at a Comfort Inn & Suites in Macon, KMIZ-TV reports.

Officials say it is unknown whether the hotel was the source of the bacteria that caused the two people to become sick. Testing of the hot tub indicated the presence of Legionella bacteria; all other test results were negative.

People can become infected by breathing in small water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. In general, people do not spread Legionnaires' disease to other people.

"In situations like this, we work closely with our local health partners on surveillance and mitigation strategies," said Dr. Randall Williams, director of the state's Department of Health and Senior Services. "Upon detection of a patient with Legionnaires' disease, this includes appropriate public notifications and implementing disinfection strategies at the identified source."