Orlando, Florida


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Ed Normand
Ed Normand
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Legionnaires Disease Contracted by Orlando Tourists

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The Orange County, Florida Health Department confirmed that two tourists were infected with the potentially deadly
Legionnaires’ disease. The disease is caused by a type of bacteria known as Legionella. These bacteria grow in warm water sources, including swimming pools, spas, water tanks, plumbing containers and, most famously, in building air-conditioning systems.

A hotel in Orlando, near Universal Studios, voluntarily shut down while the Florida Health officials investigate the cause of the infection. The two tourists who were infected stayed at the hotel whose address is at 7400 Canada Avenue in Orlando, Florida. According to the Orlando Sentinel, State Health officials have not confirmed if the hotel was the source of the infection. Tests are being undertaken to determine if Legionella is present at the hotel. According to State officials, 175 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in Florida last year.

The disease does not spread from person to person that is why health officials are investigating the places where the tourists were staying when they likely contracted the disease. The disease is usually acquired when victims breathe in air that contains water infected with the bacteria. By way of example, a common way to get the infection is from breathing in steam from a spa with water that has not been adequately cleaned and disinfected. The disease can be deadly and in fact it is lethal in 5 to 30 percent of all cases. It is usually treated with antibiotics.