Milwaukee Health Department continues Legionella investigation

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by Jesse Tovar

MILWAUKEE -- The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) continues its investigation into possible sources connected to the 14 confirmed cases of Legionnaire's disease in the city.

"Our medical and environmental health experts are proceeding with an in-depth investigation, and continue to collaborate with other local health jurisdictions as well as state health officials," said Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker.

Legionnaire's disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by the bacteria legionella. It is not spread by person to person contact but people can become infected from inhaling the bacteria, and if left untreated it can lead to death. Those with underlying health conditions and the elderly are most at risk.

Legionnaire's disease is acquired after inhaling mists from a water source that contains the bacteria. Most often these include large cooling towers, hot water tanks, decorative fountains, hot tubs, and air conditioners. Drinking water is not a source of legionella.

"Our investigators continue to test and analyze possible sources," said Commissioner Baker. "Current samples have all returned preliminary negative results." 

 

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