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Lacey Super 8 Motel closes for Legionnaires’ investigation

A Super 8 Motel in Lacey will voluntarily close due to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, according to the Thurston County Health Department.

Three possible cases of the pneumonia-like disease have been linked to the motel within the past month, the department said. The motel is located at 112 College Street SE in Lacey.

Motel operators are working with Dr. Rachel Wood, the Thurston County Health Officer.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria. People get Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in contaminated water mist or vapor.

The Health Department is asking guests, staff and contractors of the motel to monitor their health for symptoms of the disease and to contact their health care provider if they become ill. The incubation period for the disease is from 2 to 10 days, typically 5 to 6 days.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fever, fatigue, body aches and headache, cough, chest pain and occasionally diarrhea.

People at increased risk include those over 50 years of age and those with certain medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and those with lowered immune systems.

People who stayed at the motel are not at risk of spreading Legionnaires’ disease to other people. The bacteria are not spread from person to person.

The name comes from a famous outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in 1976, which was traced to the hotel’s air-conditioning system.

Hotel whirlpools, showers, and air conditioning units have previously been shown to be sources of Legionnaires' disease outbreaks. As directed by the Thurston County Health Officer, the Super 8 has contracted with a laboratory to complete an environmental assessment of the motel to determine the possible source of the bacteria.

The Thurston County Health Department is working to contact guests, staff and contractors who have recently been at the motel to inform them of the outbreak. Those people can reach department staff by calling 360-867-2672. Though the department is closed for general business over the holiday weekend, disease investigation staff will be available July 3-5 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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