Health officials warn about Legionnaires’ disease cases linked to Albert Lea hotel

Minnesota health officials are warning visitors at an Albert Lea, Minnesota hotel to seek medical care after two confirmed Legionnaires’ disease cases.

According to the state Department of Health, the two labatory confirmed cases were found in people from separate groups that stayed at the Ramada by Wyndham Albert Lea in late June. In both cases, the patients had spent time in the hotel pool or hot tub. Both were hospitalized but one has since been released.

Officials say it can take up to 14 days after exposure before you see symptoms, which can include headaches, muscle aches, a fever, coughing, and shortness of breathe. However, the health department points out that the disease, a bacterial pneumonia, speads through water droplets -- not from person-to-person contact.

Not everyone develops Legionnaires’ disease after exposure. However, people over the age of 50, smokers, and people with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk.

The state is still working to determine the source of the exact Legionella bacteria.