Sickened in Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak? Call (612) 337-6126

Elliot Olsen is a nationally known Legionnaires lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires at the Schaumburg AmericInn, you might have cause to file a Legionnaires lawsuit. Please call Elliot at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

The AmericInn by Wyndham Hotel in Schaumburg has been linked to an outbreak of two Legionnaires’ disease illnesses, Illinois health officials said. Schaumburg is about 30 miles northwest of the Chicago Loop.

Investigators for the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) conducted an environmental sweep of the AmericInn (1300 East Higgins Road), and traced both illnesses back to it. No information was released on the victims.

“Both confirmed cases reported use of water in their guest rooms, the hot tub, and pool during hotel stays in July and August 2019,” an IDPH news release read.

Legionnaires’ disease occurs when Legionella bacteria are inhaled in the form of microscopic water droplets, such as vapor or mist.

Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak: guests have been warned

Hotel officials voluntarily closed the pool and hot tub areas until the investigation is finished, and they said they are contacting anyone who lodged at the hotel between June 13 and August 16 (last Thursday). Guests are being instructed to contact the CCDPH if they exhibit symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease (below) or suffer from respiratory symptoms.

“As the epidemiological and environmental investigation of this Legionnaires’ disease cluster continues, it is important to release this information to ensure the guests are aware and seek treatment if they become symptomatic,” IDPH director Ngozi Ezike said.

Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak: no stranger to Illinois

The state of Illinois has an active relationship with Legionnaires’ disease, reporting 510 cases last year and 242 so far in 2019. At the end of July, Rush Oak Park became the fourth hospital in the Chicago area to experience an outbreak in the past four months. The others:

  • In April, two illnesses were confirmed at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.
  • In May, two cases were confirmed at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
  • In June, four cases were confirmed at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Hospital patients were the victims in nine of the 10 cases; one Advocate Christ Medical Center employee also was infected.

Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak: disease symptoms

Legionnaires’ disease develops two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella and frequently begins with these symptoms:

  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • fever, which can be 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, accompanied by chills.

By Day 2 or 3, symptoms often worsen to include:

  • shortness of breath, called dyspnea
  • coughing, which can produce mucus or blood
  • chest pains, called pleurisy or pleuritis
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • confusion and other mental changes.
Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak: disease complications

Legionnaires’ disease cannot be passed from person to person, and it is treatable with antibiotics when diagnosed early enough. If an early diagnosis does not occur, however, the disease can produce serious complications, such as:

  • endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart’s inner lining that can affect its ability to maintain adequate blood flow through the body.
  • kidney failure, which occurs when toxins produced by Legionella damage the kidneys’ ability to eliminate waste from the blood.
  • pericarditis, which is a swelling of the pericardium (the primary membrane around the heart) that also affects the heart’s ability to circulate blood.
  • respiratory failure, which is caused by changes to the lung tissue, or oxygen loss in arteries that supply the lungs.
  • septic shock, which occurs when Legionella toxins enter the bloodstream and cause a drop in blood pressure, leading to the loss of adequate blood supply for the organs.
Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak: high-risk groups

Anyone can become sick with Legionnaires’ disease, but people with the most significant risk of infection include:

  • anyone 50 years old or older
  • smokers, both current or former
  • anyone with chronic lung disease, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, most commonly bronchitis or emphysema)
  • anyone with a compromised immune system
  • alcoholics.
Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak: about Legionella

Legionella thrive in warm water, and they are found primarily in human-made environments, such as:

  • water systems of large buildings (hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.)
  • swimming pools, whirlpools, hot tubs
  • air-conditioning system cooling towers
  • large plumbing systems
  • hot-water heaters and tanks
  • bathroom showers and faucets
  • physical-therapy equipment
  • mist machines, like those used in the produce sections of grocery stores
  • hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.
Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak: 2 guests sickened

A Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak was announced by Illinois health officials, who traced two illnesses to guests who stayed at the hotel.

Schaumburg AmericInn Legionnaires outbreak: Outbreak? Cluster?

The terms “outbreak” and “cluster” are used when multiple cases are reported in or around the same proximity and within a designated period. The term “community-acquired” is used when there are no commonalities; these kinds of cases are the most common.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would classify the Schaumburg illnesses as an “outbreak” because two or more cases were reported within weeks of each other and occurred in a more limited geographic area – meaning officials were able to identify the AmericInn as they likely source.

If two or more illnesses occurred in the same general vicinity within a period of three to 12 months, the term “cluster” would be used.


Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people injured by Legionnaires’ disease. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: