December 20, 2018
UPDATED: DHSS Provides Update on Possible Area of Public Health Concern
JEFFERSON CITY - In consultation with experts at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is advising recent, current, and possible future guests of a potential health concern for individuals that may have been in contact with a water source within the St. Louis Marriott West hotel. The facility is located at 660 Maryville Centre Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141.
As previously announced, DHSS has determined that two unassociated individuals were diagnosed in October and November with Legionnaires’ disease, who also stayed at the St. Louis Marriott West during the same time period. We do not know whether the hotel was the source of the germs that caused the two people to become sick. People can get Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia, by breathing in small water droplets containing Legionella germs. In general, people do not spread Legionnaires’ disease to other people.
In response to this information, DHSS, with the cooperation of St. Louis Marriott West management, is conducting an ongoing investigation. While culture results, which take time to grow, are pending, preliminary nonculture tests are positive in water used for drinking and showers and in the cooling tower. The investigation is ongoing and DHSS will have more guidance once culture results are obtained.
DHSS is actively working to help prevent additional people from becoming sick. Risk to those that were in contact with water at the facility during the previous 14 days may be greater if you are 50 years or older, smoke cigarettes, or have certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system.
If you develop symptoms of pneumonia within two weeks of staying at St. Louis Marriott West, seek medical attention right away. Pneumonia symptoms typically include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Additional symptoms may be present, such as headache, confusion, nausea, or diarrhea. Ask your doctor to test you with both a urine test and a respiratory culture. If you test positive, ask your doctor to report your illness to your local or state health department as soon as possible after your diagnosis.
DHSS will continue working with St. Louis Marriott West, which is taking proactive measures to minimize risk and develop a water management plan to ensure protection of the health of guests and employees. Additional information on Legionella is available from the CDC website at: https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/index.html.
About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook or Twitter @HealthyLivingMO.