5th Legionnaires' Disease confirmed at Round Rock hotel

SpringHill Suites in North Round Rock remains closed while health officials test for the cause of a legionnaires' disease outbreak. The Williamson County Health District reports five people have become sick since june.

The most recent case was confirmed Friday.

That hotel guest had to be taken to a hospital earlier on the week by ambulance.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Kristin Mondy of the UT Dell Medical School describes what those diagnosed likely experienced. "Cough might be mild at first, but patients may have more gastronomic intestinal symptoms sometimes including diarrhea , nausea, vomiting, fever, malaise, body aches, but then most certainly symptoms progress they would have worsening, and generally by the time they would present to the hospital they would have evidence of an pneumonia," said Mondy.

A hotel spokesperson says a third party company has been hired to remediate the situation.

We spoke to one such company based in Dayton, Ohio. Steve Elrich of Solid Blend Technologies told FOX 7 by phone the disease comes from bacteria in the water supply.

"It comes into the system that really low undetectable levels from the municipal water supply. Once the bacteria gets into a hot tub, a cooling tower, or a hot domestic water system that bacteria those systems are the perfect temperature for it to reproduce and grow," said Elrich.

Several SpringHill Suites guests infected say they used the hot tub.

Elrich says there are three ways to kill the bacteria-- filtration, high water temperature and injecting high amounts of chlorine into each water fixture.

But here's the scary part: "Chances of it being gone forever very slim and that's not just this particular facility any any situation that we've been involved and we've seen that," said Elrich.

He says facilities must continue monitoring for the bacteria.

He has found success with what is called a secondary disinfection system.

When it comes to protecting yourself as a hotel guest... He has this advice.

"Typically when I stay at a hotel before I take a shower I'm going to turn the shower on hot and I'm going to let it run for a good five minutes to get fresh water through that outlet so I'm not worried about bringing in contaminated water," said Elrich.

There has been an increase in cases. Medical professionals believe that may have to do with the fact that a urine test was just developed making it easier to diagnose.

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