Four people reported getting sick between Jan. 22 and Jan. 27 after staying at the Crookston Inn and Convention Center. None of them stayed in the hotel overnight and visited the hotel for different occasions, the Department of Health said in a news release.
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria usually spread to humans by inhalation of contaminated water mist — often from sources like plumbing systems, air duct moisture and hot tubs. It is not spread from one person to another under normal circumstances.
State health officials are working with the hotel to find out what may have caused the outbreak. Based on existing evidence and past outbreaks, the Department of Health currently believes the outbreak may have originated in the hotel’s spa, which is currently closed pending lab test results.
The hotel is notifying people who stayed there between Jan. 14 and Feb. 13 that they may have been exposed.
Spas are often the source of outbreaks because of their high temperatures causing water to become fine droplets that hang in the air, officials said.
Each year 8,000-18,000 people are hospitalized with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Legionnaires’ is usually treated with antibiotics, but in rare cases can be fatal.
Particularly vulnerable to the infection are people over the age of 50, smokers, people with weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease, and diabetes.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fever, muscle aches, shortness of breath and loss of appetite.