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Legionnaires' disease strikes 2 in Embassy Suites

The Embassy Suites Hotel on North State Street in downtown Chicago has recently become embroiled in a bit of a scandal when two guests came down with Legionnaires' disease.

Following this event, the Chicago Department of Public Health directed the hotel to close down its water systems for an investigation. These systems were then disinfected so that they can safely get put back into use.

Both of the guests got proper medical treatment for the disease. The latest reports make it appear that they are recovering well at this time. That's the good news, though guests do have a basic right to safe, sanitary conditions at hotels and other such locations, so having to endure this at all is certainly more than they bargained for.

Is it truly the source?

"At this time, it is not known whether the Embassy Suites was the source of the bacteria that caused the two people to become sick," the officials noted in a statement. "Potential exposure sites are being sampled and hotel management is cooperating fully with the investigation. There is no immediate risk to the public."

Hilton owns Embassy Suites, but the hotel giant did not have a comment to provide when asked.

What is Legionnaires' disease?

For those who have never encountered Legionnaires' disease before, it is a kind of severe pneumonia. The bacteria itself resides in water droplets. When people inhale these, they can contract the disease. They may then get a cough, a fever or a headache and they may have difficulty breathing.

As common as pneumonia is, it can be deadly when proper treatment is not given or when it impacts the elderly, the very young or those who are otherwise at an increased risk. Legionnaires' disease can turn fatal.

This also shows why officials closed down the water systems. That can reduce the risk that the disease will spread.

Dangerous diseases and your rights

If you have contracted Legionnaire's disease at a hotel or another building make  sure you understand your right to claim compensation. A lawyer can review your situation and explain your legal options.

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