Dangerous bacteria discovered in tourist town hotel

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease has been found at a hotel in a popular Missouri tourist town, and health officials say one of three people who became ill after staying there has died.

Missouri health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched an investigation last month of the Best Western on the River Hotel in Hannibal. The town draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to sites associated with Mark Twain, who grew up in Hannibal.

Samples from four rooms tested positive for Legionella bacteria. What caused the bacteria remains under investigation.

All three people who became ill had stayed at the hotel over the previous eight months. State health department spokesman Ryan Hobart declined to provide details about the person who died.