27 de out de 2012

Legionella bacteria found in two shower heads at Oak Park and River Forest High School

Bacteria can very rarely lead to Legionnaires' disease. Problem discovered during routine water testing.

Bacteria that in rare instances may cause Legionnaires' disease have been found in one shower head in both the boys and girls freshmen locker rooms at Oak Park and River Forest High School, school officials said Friday afternoon.

The bacteria were discovered during a water-quality test the school was conducting as part of a new maintenance program, the school announced Friday afternoon via an email to families. Superintendent Steven Isoye stressed that there have been no cases of Legionnaires' disease found among students or staff.

"This morning we were notified that traces of Legionella bacteria were found. …We immediately isolated and closed these showers. As a precautionary measure, we also closed the other showers as well, until we could thoroughly consult with experts about the appropriate next steps," Isoye said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Legionella bacteria are commonly found in water. It grows best in warm water and in places such as hot tubs, cooling towers or large plumbing systems. Air-conditioning systems in large buildings are known to carry the bacteria, according to the CDC. Legionnaires' disease, a respiratory illness, is caused by the bacteria, but most people exposed to the bacteria do not become ill.

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