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Legionnaires' Disease Deaths At 3 In Outbreak Traced To JW Marriott Chicago Hotel

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The JW Marriott hotel in Chicago. Three deaths have now been traced back to a Legionnaires' outbreak at the hotel.
The JW Marriott hotel in Chicago. Three deaths have now been traced back to a Legionnaires' outbreak at the hotel.

A third death has been reported in the Legionnaires' disease outbreak at a high-end hotel in downtown Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reports that, according to an Irish newspaper, Thomas Keane, 66, was visiting Chicago from his native Ireland when he dined at the JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St., with his wife in July.

Keane, a retired plumber, and his wife were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on the trip.

Health officials on Friday also announced two new confirmed cases of the illness, which victims thus far identified in the outbreak contracted while staying at the hotel between July 16 and Aug. 15, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Health officials also identified the source of the bacterial disease's outbreak: the decorative fountain located in the hotel's lobby, according to ABC Chicago.

The fountain has since been removed from the hotel's lobby and other areas found to have contained the same bacteria -- including the hotel's pool, spa whirlpool and men's and women's locker rooms -- have been "disabled or made inaccessible to the public," the Tribune reports.

Last month, the city announced three cases of the fast-spreading, sometimes fatal Legionnaire's disease. The bacteria spread through the inhalation of contaminated water vapor, causing a severe form of pneumonia.

In response to the news, the hotel issued a warning to all recent guests, and began the complicated process of notifying the 8,500 guests who stayed there in recent months.

The outbreak was previously responsible for two deaths of guests of the hotel.

Health officials noted that there "is no ongoing public health risk" at the hotel, according to CBS Chicago.

Symptoms of the disease include headache, chills, chest pain and fever. A hotline has been set up by Chicago Department of Public Health to answer questions from people who may have been exposed at (312) 746-4835.

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