Monday, December 14, 2009

Miami hotel moves 300 guests due to water-borne bacteria

The EPIC Hotel, an upscale hotel, opened just a year ago in downtown Miami has moved 300 guests after a bacteria in its water is suspected in one death and two hospitalizations.
One European guest died in September and two others were sent to the hospital in November and December.The Miami-Dade County health department said the problem at the EPIC hotel was the bacteria Legionella pneumophila, which causes Legionnaires' disease.
Authorities said they believed the installation of a powerful water filter at the hotel, which was to remove chlorine from tap water, allowed the bacteria to grow in the water system.

The health department is calling an it an outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes the cause of the disease:"People get Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor that has been contaminated with the bacteria."
There may have been contamination, because chlorine levels at Epic are too low, said county health experts.
Still, the hotel has not been confirmed as the source of the disease.
Bruce Rubin, a spokesman for Epic, issued a statement that read in part: "The EPIC Hotel has voluntarily partnered with the Miami-Dade Health Department to notify guests and staff of the possible presence of bacteria in its water system."
"EPIC is working towards a quick and thorough resolution to the water issue, and looks forward to welcoming its guests back as soon as possible."