CDC Closes Some Atlanta Offices After Outbreak Of Legionella

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The discovery of Legionella bacteria led to closures at some of the Atlanta-based offices for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention closed several buildings it leases in Atlanta because Legionella bacteria have been found in their water systems, CNN reported Friday.

No one has reported feeling ill to date, the CDC said.

The bacteria likely grew during the prolonged pandemic shutdown, and can when droplets of water are inhaled cause respiratory illness including shortness of breath, pneumonia and even death.

Researchers discovered Legionella among people who attended a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion in 1976.

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David Krause, an expert in recognition, evaluation and control of Legionella in building systems, said the recent shutdowns of hotels, schools and office buildings could lead to stagnant water in the lines and widespread outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease.

"Legionella does grow in cooling, outside equipment, and can lead to widespread outbreaks of disease, but the common myth is that people contract it inside the building because the Legionella bacteria is blowing through the ducts," Krause said. "That is not the case."

When buildings sit empty, the chlorine disinfectant in the water gets consumed and bacteria flourishes and grows.

"During the recent closures at our leased space in Atlanta, working through the General Services…
Ellen Eldridge
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