Fifth case of Legionnaires Disease linked to The Guest House at Graceland

by: Lauren Coleman Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Shelby County Health Department has confirmed there is a fifth case of Legionnaires Disease from The Guest House at Graceland hotel. 

>>PHOTOS: The Guest House at Gracland 

Three people were originally diagnosed with Legionnaires Disease. The Shelby County Health Department confirmed a fourth case linked to The Guest House at Graceland on Friday and a fifth case Thursday. 

>>What is Legionnaires' Disease and how is it spread? 

SOURCE: CDC

The aquatic facilities at the hotel in the 3600 block of Elvis Presley Blvd. have been temporarily closed.

"We are working collaboratively with the Tennessee Department of Health on this current investigation," said Alisa Haushalter, DNP, RN, director of SCHD. "As the local public health department, it is our role to protect our community, including those who are visitors, and prevent the spread of disease."

Legionnaires Disease is caused by bacteria called Legionella, usually found in water. It is contracted when people breathe in a mist or vapor containing the bacteria. 

Many exposed do not become ill, but symptoms can be similar to forms of pneumonia including cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Symptoms can last between two to 14 days after exposure. It is usually treated with antibiotics. 

Legionnaires can be prevented by maintaining water systems in hot tubs, decorative fountains, drinking water systems, and cooling towers. 

Those who visited The Guest House at Graceland between May 15 and June 26 and have experienced symptoms need to contact the Shelby County Health Department Hotline at (901) 222-9299. 

The hotel released a statement saying, "We are working closely and cooperating fully with SCHD," stated The Guest House at Graceland, managed by Pyramid Hotel Group. "We care deeply about the health and safety of all our guests and employees. Our hotel remains open and fully operational. By closing our hot tub and pool facilities temporarily, we are taking all proper precautions as SCHD completes its investigation."

Graceland also released a statement saying, “Graceland is working closely with Pyramid Hotel Group who manages the hotel. Our primary concern is the health and welfare of their guests. The issue does not affect the Graceland attraction and tours in any way.”

The Guest House at Graceland just opened to the public last October. 

>>The Guest House at Graceland opens 

FOX13's Lauren Coleman will have the full story tonight on FOX13 News at 5.