Officials link 2 cases of Legionnaires' disease to Albert Lea hotel pool

Minnesota health officials are investigating cases of Legionnaires’ disease linked to a hotel in Albert Lea.

Early evidence suggests the source of the respiratory disease may be the pool area at the Ramada by Wyndham, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Investigators have identified two lab-confirmed cases among individuals from unrelated groups who spent time in the pool and hot tub area around the last weekend of June. These people got sick between late June and early July.

One person remains hospitalized. The other was hospitalized for a time, but has since been discharged.

The department is investigating reports of additional people who are experiencing illnesses that might be Legionnaires’ disease.

The disease is spread by inhaling the fine spray from water sources containing Legionella bacteria. It is not spread from person to person. The time between exposure to the bacteria and the onset of symptoms can be up to 14 days.

The hotel has closed the pool and hot tub as the health department works to confirm the source of the disease, which is spread by inhaling the fine spray from water sources containing Legionella bacteria.

Health officials say Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia with lung inflammation usually caused by infection.

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