Legionnaires' disease bacteria found at hotel; 1 guest died

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Legionnaires' Disease: Are You at Risk?
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease was found in rooms of a hotel in a popular Missouri tourist town associated with Mark Twain, and health officials said Tuesday that one of three people who contracted the disease after staying there has died.

Missouri health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched an investigation last month of the Best Western on the River Hotel in Hannibal. The hotel sits a block from the home where Mark Twain spent his childhood, and sites connected to the author attract about 500,000 visitors to Hannibal each year.

The CDC took 40 samples on Nov. 10. Samples from four rooms tested positive for Legionella bacteria, said Ryan Hobart, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. What caused the bacteria remains under investigation.

Look back at a history of Legionnaires' outbreaks:

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History of Legionnaires outbreaks
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Legionnaires' disease bacteria found at hotel; 1 guest died
Colorized photo of the legionella bacteria under microscope. 
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds up a chart documenting the cases of Legionnaires' disease while speaking to reporters at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. The death toll from an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease has risen from four to seven people, city health officials announced Monday at a public town hall meeting of concerned residents. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Following steps played by Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital in recent legionnaires disease at Seven Oaks Home for the Aged. (Photo by Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Employees of the auction house and exhibition-halls discuss their worries about their health after an outbreak of the Legionnaires' disease in Bovenkarspel, Netherlands, about 60 km (37 miles) north of Amsterdam Friday, March 19, 1999. An outbreak of the rare illness is thought to have originated at the exhibition halls and has killed 15 people in the Netherlands and infected at least 90. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
An ambulance drives past the main entrance of the Vila France de Xira hospital, where people infected by legionella bacteria are being treated, near Lisbon, Portugal, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. Portuguese health authorities said the death toll from a recent outbreak of Legionnaire's disease near the capital Lisbon has risen to seven, with 311 people infected. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
The Noroxo plant is seen Monday, Jan. 5, 2004, near Lens, northern France. A deadly outbreak of Legionnaire's disease has been linked to the petrochemicals plant owned by U.S. energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp. Operations at the Noroxo plant were halted Sunday after two new cases of the respiratory disease turned up in the area. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Exterior view of the luxurious Amstel Hotel, a favorite with visiting rock stars and dignitaries, in Amsterdam Friday Oct. 22, 2004. A routine health inspection Thursday uncovered a dangerous bacteria in the water which causes Legionnaires Disease and the hotel was evacuated subsequently. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The exterior of a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan office building is shown in Detroit, Thursday, June 22, 2006. About 350 health care workers will be off until Monday as crews flush out the water system at the downtown building after one employee was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, a spokeswoman said Thursday. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
A worker collects water for drinking after water supply was stopped for cleaning process at the government headquarters in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. Bacteria that cause Legionnaire's disease have been found throughout Hong Kong's brand new, $670-million government headquarters. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
The House Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations holds a hearing on analyzing the Veterans Affairs Department actions to prevent Legionnaires Disease in Pittsburgh after a recent outbreak at the Pittsburgh V.A. Medical Center, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Witnesses, from right to left, are Steve Schira, chairman and CEO of Liquitech, Inc., Kathleen Dahl, president of AFGE Local 2028, Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Aaron Marshall, operations manager for Enrich Products, Inc., Janet Stout, director of the Special Pathogens Laboratory, and Victor Yu, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Security guards patrol the sidewalk in front of a Veterans Affairs hospital in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Federal health officials now say five people may have died from Legionnaires' disease at local Veterans Affairs hospitals over the last two years. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
DROCOURT, FRANCE: Doctor Ramin Roboubi, chief of the Pneumology service at the Henin-Beaumont poly-clinic, looks at the x-ray of a patient suffering from Legionnaires' disease 31 December 2003. Twenty patients out of the 50 registered have been treated in this clinic. Ten are still hospitalized. (AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN)
Rep. Tom Hennies, R-Rapid City, right, chats with House Speaker Matthew Michels, R-Yankton, Wednesday, March 1, 2006, at Pierre, S.D. Hennies recently learned he has Legionnaires' disease; he's being treated with an antibiotic. (AP Photo/Joe Kafka)
Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, right, wipes his eyes as he attends the wake of the Brazilian minister Sergio Motta Monday, April 20, 1998, in Sao Paulo. Motta, the powerful communications minister who oversaw the break-up of Brazil's telecommunications monopoly, died Sunday of complications from Legionnaires disease. He was 57. From left are Renata Motta daughter of Sergio Motta, Wilma Motta, wife, and Minister of Health Jose Serra. (AP Photostr/Inacio Teixeira)
Terry Pego, left, a passenger on the Celebrity Cruise ship Horizon, carries her luggage upon her arrival at New York's La Guardia Airport, July 21, 1994, as Robert Wieder, a representative of the Miami-based cruise line, greets passengers at rear right. Pego and other passengers of the Horizon were flown home from Bermuda, their vacations cut short after traces of Legionnaires' disease were found on board. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Andrew and Christine Scott show off their customized t-shirts, bearing the statement "I survived the mass evacuation Horizon," after their arrival at New York's La Guardia Airport, July 21, 1994. The Scotts and other passengers of Celebrity Cruise line's Horizon cruise ship were flown home from Bermuda, their vacations cut short after traces of Legionnaires' disease bacteria were found in shipboard water samples. The ship was voluntarily taken out of service Wednesday. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Dr. Stephen Thacker, right, of the U.S. Center for Disease Control, interviews Thomas Payne in Chambersburg, Pa. Hospital, Aug. 4, 1976. Payne was one of the Legionnaires who became ill after attending a state convention in Philadelphia. He is slowly recovering, although over 20 other Legionnaires have died from the mysterious disease. (AP Photo/Pool)
An Environmental Protection Agency technician sets up apparatus to catch particles in the air on street along Seventh Avenue and 35th Street, Sept. 8, 1978. Faced with five confirmed cases of Legionnaires disease and 73 suspected ones, city officials announced new steps to prevent any further spread of the disease, which so far has been confined to the bustling Garment District. (AP Photo/Dan Goodrich)
Illustrated postcard shows the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early 1900s. In 1976, the hotel was the site of the first outbreak of the previously unknown and deadly Legionnaires' disease. (Photo by Vintage Images/Getty Images)
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Hobart said all three people who became ill had stayed at the hotel over the previous eight months. One of them died. Hobart said he could not provide information about whether the death was specifically due to the respiratory illness or give any information about that person.

Hannibal, in northeast Missouri, is about 20 miles down the Mississippi River from Quincy, Illinois, where an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease occurred earlier this year at the Illinois Veterans Home, contributing to 12 deaths and sickening dozens more.

The illness is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that infect the lungs. Named after a 1976 outbreak among participants of an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, the disease can cause coughs, breathing trouble, fever and muscle aches, and death in extreme cases. People can get sick if they inhale mist or vapor from contaminated water systems, hot tubs and other typical sources.

Information on the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration website said about 25,000 cases of Legionnaires' disease occur annually, with more than 4,000 deaths.

The Hannibal hotel consists of two buildings - an older structure, and one completed just this year. Hobart said the new wing of the hotel was not yet in operation when the outbreak occurred. It was inspected as a precaution and no problems were found. That building is open for guests.

The older structure remains closed. The Hannibal Courier-Post reported that papers taped to the hotel's main entrance advised that it was shut for "renovations." A man answering the phone at the hotel hung up on a reporter who called.

Hobart said hotel management has been cooperative. He said remedies will involve "superheating and/or hyper-chlorination of the facility's potable water system." It was unclear when the hotel building would be allowed to reopen.

Related: Photos from the Legionnaires' outbreak earlier this year in New York City:

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Legionnaires in NYC
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Legionnaires' disease bacteria found at hotel; 1 guest died
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13: The Opera House Hotel at 436 East 149th Street, which houses a water cooling tower that was found to have traces of legionella pneumophila bacteria, which may have helped cause the recent outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx, is seen on August 13, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. In a press conference today New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that while new cases of Legionnaires' may appear, the outbreak has been contained and that the water cooling towers the New York City Department of Health believe are responsible for the outbreak have been decontaminated. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Marvin Montgomery, a Legionnaires disease patient at Harlem Hospital on Thursday, August 6, 2015 in New Yrok, N.Y. Montgomery worked near Lincoln Hospital, one of five sites that tested positive for the bacteria, and frequently used the hospital bathroom. City officials released new numbers Thursday showing the death toll since July 12 was now in the double digits while overall cases had climbed to 100. All the people affected are from the South Bronx. (Photo By: James Keivom/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: The Opera House Hotel is viewed in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak Legionnaires disease on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: A man looks in the window of a building for a person who lost a relative to Legionnaires disease in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: People walk in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak Legionnaires disease on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Lydia Ramirez, the wife of Carmelo Quiles who recently died of Legionnaires disease, pauses in her apartment in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: People walk past the Opera House Hotel in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak Legionnaires disease on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: People walk in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak Legionnaires disease on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: The Opera House Hotel is viewed in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak Legionnaires disease on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Carmen Ramirez, whose father Carmelo Quiles recently died of Legionnaires disease, pauses in her mothers apartment with a picture of her father in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Carmen Ramirez, whose father Carmelo Quiles recently died of Legionnaires disease, pauses in her mothers apartment in an area of the Bronx which is the center of the outbreak on August 6, 2015 in New York City. It is believed that cooling towers in the area contributed to the illness which is believed to be contracted by inhaling mists from contaminated bacteria in the water source. The Bronx, and specifically the area around the Opera Hotel on East 149th Street, is in the middle of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City's history. New York authorities announced that as of Wednesday night the illness has now sickened nearly 100 people since July 10, with at least eight people having died. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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