Health officials: 6th Legionnaires' disease case confirmed after stay at Atlanta hotel

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Health officials said another case of Legionnaires' disease has been diagnosed in a person who recently stayed at a downtown Atlanta hotel.

As of Wednesday, six people have confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease, health officials said. The common link is they stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta, officials said.

Tests still have not come back from the hotel giving any positive indication the bacteria is present there, but hotel management was not taking any chances Monday when the first three cases came to light. They swiftly closed their doors, relocated 450 guests, and worked to rebook some upcoming reservations.

Health officials praised the hotel’s prompt response, calling it the best possible course in preventing further cases. State health officials and the Fulton County Board of Health are working with hotel staff to resolve the matter.

Legionnaires' can cause flu-like symptoms, but unlike influenza, it can be treated with antibiotics. The most common way to contract the disease is using a pool, hot tub, air conditioner, mist sprayer, or even the water supply itself.

The Sheraton Atlanta is one of the five host hotels of Dragon Con, one of Atlanta’s largest conventions, which draws more than 80,000 visitors each year. The hotel serves as the registration point for the largest multimedia pop-culture convention in the United States.

On social media sites dedicated to Dragon Con, supporters were taking the news in stride. Most believe the situation will be resolved before the convention opens in 42 days. Some Dragon Con fans, who are known for paying unlikely and outlandish homages to their host hotels, have announced plans to integrate the news into their celebrations.

Convention organizers said they are continuing to stay in contact with hotel management to “understand the situation, the solutions, and the timeframes involved.”

Dragon Con runs through the Labor Day weekend and focuses on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, film, and more.

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