Source confirmed in Legionnaires' outbreak at Atlanta hotel

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Legionnaires Outbreak Atlanta

FILE-In this Wednesday, July 31, 2019 file photo, the sign at the entrance to the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel is seen, in Atlanta. A lawsuit alleges "negligence in the operation and maintenance of the water systems" caused a Legionnaires' disease outbreak at a downtown Atlanta hotel. The lawsuit was filed Monday in Gwinnett County State Court by Germany Greer, who says he tested positive for the disease after attending a conference at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel June 27-July 1. (AP Photo/Ron Harris, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed the source of a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak at a downtown Atlanta hotel.

According to news outlets, officials said Thursday that the bacteria were present in the Sheraton Atlanta's cooling tower and in a decorative fountain in the atrium. The hotel has been closed for about a month since the first cases were confirmed.

Health officials say the hotel passed an inspection Thursday and has been cleared to reopen. Hotel management conducted an extensive remediation of the water distribution system.

Health officials have confirmed 13 cases of Legionnaires' disease from the outbreak, including one death , and 66 probable cases.

A lawsuit filed Monday accuses the hotel of negligence. Sheraton Atlanta General Manager Ken Peduzzi told the Associated Press that the hotel doesn't comment on legal matters.