MENDON, Vt. (AP) – A hotel has been shut down by the state after tests confirmed it as the source for a case of Legionnaires’ disease.

The Vermont Department of Health ordered the 96-room Cortina Inn closed Thursday because tests of water showed evidence of the bacteria Legionella pneumophila. It’s not clear how long it will be closed.

“We asked that the guests be vacated and that employees not continue to work there until we could clean and retest the water system,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Cort Lohff.

The state began examining the Route 4 hotel after three Legionnaires’ cases showed links to it, Lohff said.

The hotel’s telephone rang unanswered Friday morning. A woman at the front desk said Thursday the hotel was closed but would not comment on why.

Legionnaires’ disease takes it’s name from a 1976 outbreak at a Philadelphia hotel that killed 34 people. The bacterium believed responsible is found in soil and grows in water, such as in air conditioning ducts and rivers.

The disease with symptoms including fever, coughing and chills can be treated with antibiotics but can also be fatal.

The state is looking for other people who may have stayed or worked at the hotel who became sick.

The Health Department will routinely test the water once the hotel reopens, Lohff said.


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