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Chicago's First JW Marriott hotel ballroom Photo by: Marriott

Irishman one of three to die of Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Chicago

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Chicago's First JW Marriott hotel ballroom Photo by: Marriott

A Limerick man has died from Legionnaires’’ disease, which he contracted at a Chicago hotel, during a trip to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary and visit their son, Shane (29).

Thomas Keane (66), from Janeboro, died on Wednesday having contracted the disease a month ago. He is the third person to die from this bacterial infection, contracted at the JW Marriott Chicago hotel.

Last month Keane and his wife, Olivia, took part in a walking tour of the city which ended outside the hotel. The couple ate dinner at the hotel where he contracted the illness.

Legionaires’ is contracted by breathing air contaminated with the Legionella bacteria.

Keane’s son, Richard, told the Irish Independent the family is “absolutely devastated and saddened”.

He continued "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A lot of unfair things happen to good people.

"He came home just before the (August) bank holiday weekend, so initially he thought it was just a chest infection. After the bank holiday weekend, he went out to the regional and was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

"We thought he would be there for a couple of weeks and that would be it, but the infection never responded to the antibiotics."

Since 14th August the authorities have diagnosed eight cases of legionnaires’ disease contracted at this hotel. So far three people have died.

Under advice from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) the Chicago hotel closed a portion of the spa and drained and closed the fountain, hot tub and pool. The hotel is not longer a health risk, according to their statement in Hotel News Now.

Paralleling these incidents Quebec, in Canada, has detected a total of 151 cases with nine deaths so far from the disease this year, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

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