U.P. hotel evacuated after guest contracts deadly bacteria
Source: http://uppermichiganssource.com, January 27,2016
By: Harri Leigh
Officials from Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino say the Legionella bacterium, which causes Legionnaire’s disease, has been found in the the resort’s hotel.
After one guest contracted the illness, they evacuated the building. Water samples from the hotel tested positive for the bacteria.
Officials say they have already begun sanitizing, and will not re-open until they are confident it’s safe.
They said in a statement: “We engaged in a widespread remediation effort to eradicate any bacteria that may be present. We will not reopen until we are fully confident that this remediation effort is complete.”
Legionnaire’s disease is a water-borne bacterium that transmits through mist. It’s most commonly found in buildings with complex water systems, like hotels. It can’t spread person-to-person.
The closure could mean big losses for the resort. Winter tourism brings much of their business.
“Pretty much this time of year they rely on the snowmobilers to come in, especially renting rooms,” LVD former employee James Templeton said. “If the rooms are shut or the hotel is shut down, year, they’re going to lose a lot of money.”
Beyond the resort, other nearby businesses in the tourism industry may suffer. Fewer people means less shopping and dining out.
“There’s a lot of snowmobilers that stay at the resort, up at the LVD Resort, and so I’m sure they’re going to be looking to stay somewhere else,” Watersmeet Township Supervisor Mike Rogers said.
The casino and restaurant tested negative for the bacteria. They have a have a separate water system, and remain open.
The incident is not considered an outbreak because only one person is reported to have contracted the bacteria.
TV6 will keep you updated as more information becomes available.