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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 10, 2015
Nicky Upson, Public Health & Social Services Dept.—PIO at (360) 280-7978 or UpsonN@co.thurston.wa.us
Don Sloma, Public Health & Social Services Dept. Director at (360) 867-2502 or SlomaD@co.thurston.wa.us

Motel Re-Opens after Closure for Legionnaires' Disease
Treatment completed, future monitoring will occur

The Super 8 Motel on College Street in Lacey has re-opened after completing water treatment recommendations issued by the Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Rachel Wood. The motel closed voluntarily on July 2 due to an outbreak investigation of Legionnaires' disease. Legionnaires' disease is a serious form of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria, which is usually found in water.

In response to a request from motel ownership, Dr. Wood issued recommendations on actions to complete before re-occupying the motel. Dr. Wood also included recommendations on long-term actions for the motel to take to ensure continued protection of guests and employees. The detailed recommendations were provided to the motel on July 8.

Prior to guests returning to the motel, treatment of the water supply system was recommended, focusing on the plumbing, ice machines, pool and spa. County health officials verified that all of those recommendations were completed on July 10. Longer term, Dr. Wood recommended that the motel continue to conduct water testing and do further assessment of the water system to prevent growth of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease.

"We really appreciate the motel's cooperation with us throughout our investigation, and for working with us to protect public health," said Dr. Rachel Wood, Thurston County Health Officer. "They worked quickly to implement the recommendations and I'm glad to see them re-open."

Guests, staff and contractors who were in the motel prior to July 10, when treatment recommendations were completed, are advised to monitor their health for symptoms of the disease for 10 days after last being in the motel and to contact their health care provider if they become ill. Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include fever, tiredness, body aches and headache, cough, chest pain and diarrhea. People who stayed at the motel are not at risk of spreading Legionnaires' disease to other people. The bacteria are not spread from person to person.

An environmental assessment of the motel was done to identify the possible source of the outbreak. Final results of that sampling process are not yet available. The actions that were recommended by the county health department to re-occupy the motel cover all potential sources of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease.

The county health department first announced two cases of Legionnaires' disease that were potentially linked to the motel on June 26, and a third case was identified on July 1. No further cases of Legionnaires' disease have been reported to the county health department.

Anyone who has been at the motel recently can reach Department staff by calling the Nurse Line at (360) 867-2672 during regular business hours. General information about Legionnaires' disease and the outbreak can be found at the county health department's website at www.co.thurston.wa.us/health, or by calling the department's public information line at (360) 709-3080.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3