14 de dez. de 2009

Miami hotel moves 300 guests due to water-borne bacteria

MIAMI — An upscale hotel in downtown Miami has relocated 300 guests after a bacteria in its water system was suspected in one death and two hospitalizations.

The Miami-Dade County health department said the problem at the EPIC hotel was the bacteria Legionella pneumophila, which causes Legionnaires' disease. The hotel opened just a year ago.

Authorities said they believed the installation of a powerful water filter at the hotel, which was to remove chlorine from tap water, allowed the bacteria to grow in the water system in the tropical US city.

One European guest died in September and two others were treated in hospital in November and December, which led to the investigation, authorities said. They did not say where the victims were from.

The hotel said in a statement it opted to "notify guests and staff of the possible presence of bacteria in its water system, and to engage in water remediation efforts.

"EPIC is working towards a quick and thorough resolution to the water issue, and looks forward to welcoming its guests back as soon as possible," the hotel said

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