The Albany County Department of Health has confirmed two more cases of Legionnaire's disease, a bacterial infection, linking the cases to the Best Western Sovereign Hotel in Albany. The two guests diagnosed with the disease stayed at the hotel on May 16 and 17. Just last year, six guests were sickened by Legionnaire's, causing the hotel to close for most of February and March to remediate the problem. More detail about the first outbreak can be found in our February 2, 2012 post.
Legionella is a bacteria naturally found in the environment, existing in nearly every body of water, however the bacteria can grow to dangerous levels, especially in warm water. Legionella can cause pneumonia-like symptoms including fever, chills, cough, muscle soreness, and headaches.
The health department confirmed Legionella in the hotel's water Thursday afternoon and although the hotel replaced its hot water heater and installed new pipes after the first outbreak last year, health officials are speculating that the hotel prematurely replaced the shower heads before completing the remediation. As a result of these two new confirmed cases, the hotel is voluntarily closing until the problem is resolved. It will have to install a permanent chlorine dioxide system to disinfect that water and undergo monthly water testing. It will not reopen until health department tests confirm that the bacteria levels have been receded.
Water-borne outbreaks of bacteria and disease are particularly dangerous as they can affect large groups of people in a very short period of time. The law firm of Dreyer Boyajian LLP is co-counsel to a class of individuals sickened in a Norovirus outbreak at a large waterpark in upstate New York.
If you believe that you were affected by the Best Western Legionnaire's outbreak, it is crucial that you seek medical care and contact an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. The team of personal injury attorneys at Dreyer Boyajian LLP has extensive experience in pursuing claims on behalf of individuals and groups sickened in viral and bacterial outbreaks. To speak to an Albany, New York personal injury lawyer about this case, call (518) 463-7784 for a free consultation.