November 20, 2018

County planning testing for Legionnaires’ disease

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MIO — The county is planning to do testing in order to find out whether or not the county is the source of a case of legionnaires’ disease.

A county clerk’s office employee was diagnosed with the disease, and It is not known whether or not this person contracted it while in the county, as they had recently traveled to other places in the state. At the July 28 county commissioners meeting Commissioner Jack Kischnick said he would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to testing.

“We’re doing this to be 100 percent safe,” Kischnick said. “I’d rather go through the process and find out we don’t have it.”

During the meeting, housing department Director Cy Wakeley proposed having more buildings tested than just the mobile units of the clerk’s, treasurer’s and equalization departments.

“As a patient of an undiagnosed upper respiratory sickness, I’d propose we even have the water quality of this building tested,” he said, referring to the current county annex.

Kischnick said it has not yet been decided which buildings will be tested. However he did say when the testing happens the mobile units should be tested separately because the county is renting them.

Kischnick said he will be working with District Health Department No. 2 in order to figure out how to proceed. He said the plan is still in the preliminary stages and the county is not yet sure who will be doing the testing and where or when it will occur. He also said the county is attempting to figure out who will fund the testing as well.

According to a U.S National Library of Medicine website, legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria. It is generally contracted by breathing in mist from water that contains the bacteria. The mist may come from hot tubs, showers or air-conditioning units. The bacteria does not spread from person to person.

The disease is generally not fatal and can be treated with antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, in special cases such as with the elderly or young children, it can be markedly more difficult to recover from. The CDC says 90 percent of people who contract the sickness make a full recovery, but it can take weeks to do so. It is a very rare disease that is contracted by fewer than 20,000 people each year.

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Michael

It seems to me the first thing after contacting the testing company is to have the Air Conditioner Coils cleaned, it was stated at the last meeting that the units have not been cleaned or serviced since they were installed. That will stop any other people from getting sick.

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