Tomahawk’s Rodeway Inn re-opens in wake of Legionella outbreak
The Rodeway Inn and Suites of Tomahawk has re-opened as of Tuesday afternoon Aug. 20, following an outbreak of Legionella Disease last week.
On Thursday, August 15, the Lincoln County Health Department along with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and other state partners, began investigating an outbreak of Legionella infection at the Rodeway Inn and Suites.
Two individuals became ill with Legionnaires’ disease within two weeks following their stay at the Rodeway Inn and Suites during the past 12 months. Effective, Friday, August 16, The Rodeway Inn and Suites was closed until the source of the Legionella was located and remediation is complete.
Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in fresh water. The bacteria grow best in warm water and can be found in shower heads and faucets, hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, decorative fountains or plumbing systems in large buildings.
Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella bacteria. People can get Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain Legionella. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can include:
and Shortness of breath
Legionnaires’ disease is treated with antibiotics, and most people who get sick make a full recovery. Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not get sick. However, people at increased risk of getting sick are 50 years or older, current or former smokers, people with chronic lung disease or weak immune systems. Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from one to person to another.
The hotel’s reopening was authorized by the Lincoln County Health Department via a conditional permit. A conditional permit means they are open because they have met interim requirements to address the Legionella in their water system. Currently, the hotel has installed point-of-use filters on faucets and showers to minimize the risk of exposure to Legionella. The pool and whirlpool remain closed at this time. Rodeway Inn and Suites will continue to work with a water consultant who specializes in Legionella in developing a water management plan that will provide a long-term solution to the Legionella bacteria.
This plan will be approved by Lincoln County Health Department and state regulatory agencies. People who are planning to visit the Rodeway Inn and Suites should evaluate their risk of infection or talk to their doctor if they have questions.