Rabies and Legionnaires’ scares

A stressed and shocked man

A hotel in downtown Atlanta in the US has closed after three cases of Legionnaires’ disease were confirmed there. The Georgia Department of Health is investigating, and the Sheraton Hotel released a statement from Ken Peduzzi, General Manager: "The health and safety of our guests is our greatest priority. We are working closely with public health officials and outside experts to conduct testing to determine if Legionella is present at the hotel. As a result, out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to close the hotel while we await the results. The Sheraton Atlanta is currently working to relocate its guests to nearby hotels. It is also reaching out to guests with upcoming reservations to assist in directing them to other nearby hotels. Guests whose reservations have been cancelled will receive a full refund.”

In other disconcerting news, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County has issued a 60-day rabies alert for a two-mile radius around the intersection of Interstate 4 and Epcot Center drive, which includes Disney World’s Epcot park. This is after a nearby feral cat tested positive for the disease.

Guests to the park are on high alert and the Department of Health issued a statement: “Contact with feral cats, stray dogs and all wildlife, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes should be avoided. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in this area of southwest Orange County.” Advice to those who come into contact with an animal in the area is to wash the wound with soap and water, seek medical attention and call the Orange County Animal Services.

Scary stuff all round!