Michigan Indian Tribe’s Lac Vieux Desert Resort Hotel Closed after Discovery of Legionnaire’s Disease Bacterium


Legionnaire’s Disease can be deadly

Published January 30, 2016

WATERSMEET, MICHIGAN— The hotel at the Lac Vieux Desert Resort and Casino was closed on Monday to guests after the discovery of the Legionella bacterium that cause Legionnaires’ disease.

The closure happened after one guest became ill and tested positive for the bacterium. Tests conducted at the resort confirmed the bacterium was discovered in the hotel’s water system.

The resort and casino complex is owned and operated by the Lac Vieus Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, based in Watersmeet, Michigan, located on the southwestern portion of the state’s Upper Peninsula.

A hotel official confirmed to Native News Online on Saturday morning that the hotel will remain closed until all remediation is complete and hotel management feels the hotel is safe for occupation.

Earlier this week, hotel officials said in a statement: “Legionnaire’s disease is a water-borne bacterium that transmits through mist. It’s most commonly found in buildings with complex water systems, like hotels. It can’t spread person-to-person.”

Legionnaire’s disease is a form of pneumonia. The bacterium thrives in warm water. Individuals can become sick when they inhale mist or vapor from hot tubs, cooling systems and water systems.

The resort draws its guests because of the casino and, during this time of year, snowmobilers who enjoy the scenic trails of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The casino remains open during the hotel closure.

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