Hotel facing Legionnaires' disease scare

Dec. 13, 2009 at 2:34 PM

MIAMI, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Guests of a Miami hotel have been relocated after one former guest died and two others fell ill due to Legionnaires' disease, health officials said.

The Miami-Dade County Health Department said Epic Hotel guests were relocated after a foreign tourist died and two others became ill after staying at the luxury hotel, The Miami Herald reported Saturday.

The identities, ages and genders of the three individuals were not released.

Water at the downtown hotel is suspected of causing the illnesses, prompting the relocation of hotel guests.

Despite the three suspected Legionnaires' disease cases at the hotel, doctors downplayed the potential threat to the public. The unidentified doctors said the bacteria behind the cases have only surfaced three times during the last two months.

The Herald said studies indicate to effectively spread Legionnaires' disease, water must enter an individual's lungs. Spreading the disease is difficult from simple person-to-person contact.

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