HEALTH

Md. hotel shuts after guests contract legionnaires' disease

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BALTIMORE (AP) - An Ocean City hotel is voluntarily closing a week earlier than planned for the season after three people who were guests developed legionellosis about a week after staying there.

Maryland's health department made the announcement Wednesday. The health department says it has not confirmed that the guests acquired the illness at the Plim Plaza Hotel, and an investigation is ongoing.

The three people were hospitalized, but none died.

The department says preliminary results from water samples suggest the presence of Legionella bacteria in hotel water, but final culture results are not expected until the end of next week at the earliest.

Legionellosis is a form of pneumonia caused by inhaling aerosolized water, or water mist, containing Legionella bacteria. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea or severe body aches.

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