April 16, 2021

Two cases of Legionnaires' disease reported


For Immediate Release:
April 16, 2021

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services


JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), in collaboration with the Macon County Health Department, is advising recent guests of the Comfort Inn & Suites located at 1821 N. Missouri St, in Macon, Missouri, of a potential health concern resulting from the use of the pool and/or hot tub, or from being in the room where the pool and hot tub are located.    

DHSS has determined that two individuals diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease in April 2021, had used the hot tub and/or pool at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Macon during the last full week in March 2021. It is unknown whether the hotel was the source of the bacteria that caused the two people to become sick. Testing of the hot tub indicated the presence of Legionella bacteria; all other test results were negative. People can get Legionnaires' disease, a serious type of pneumonia, by breathing in small water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. In general, people do not spread Legionnaires' disease to other people.

“In situations like this, we work closely with our local health partners on surveillance and mitigation strategies,” said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. “Upon detection of a patient with Legionnaires' disease, this includes appropriate public notifications and implementing disinfection strategies at the identified source.”

DHSS is actively working to help prevent additional people from becoming sick by conducting an investigation and working with the facility to implement any needed public health safeguards. Risk to those that used the pool and/or hot tub, or were in the room where the pool and hot tub are located during the previous 14 days may be greater for those who 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 Comfort Inn & Suites located in Macon, 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 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 Comfort Inn & Suites, Macon, which is taking proactive measures to minimize risk and develop a hot tub and pool 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.