I reported over a week ago about the Legionella bacteria discovered up in North Chesterfield and now the bacteria is popping up in more Chesterfield County sites. The Health Department reports that the bacteria was found last week in cooling stations at four locations in the northeast part of the county, including Johnston Willis Hospital. Midlothian Middle is also now the second school to test positive, following Greenfield Elementary. The bacteria can cause a type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease.
Earlier report: Health Director Dr. Alexander Samuel of the Chesterfield Health District said there is a warning about a lung infection that has popped up in northeast Chesterfield County. According the health director, ten cases of Legionnaires’ disease had been confirmed since the beginning of May. Dr. Samuel said breathing in air from cooling towers is probably the cause, but it may be difficult to figure out the exact source. The average number of cases is three during the summer months. Although the risk to Chesterfield County residents and visitors is small, “Out of an abundance of caution, the health district recommends that individuals who become ill with pneumonia-like or respiratory symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and headache promptly seek medical care.”