Legionella ‘Possibly' Found in Illinois Capitol Complex

Legionella bacteria was possibly found in the Capitol Complex hot water system, an official from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office said Monday.

The bacteria can cause Legionnaire’s disease but Mike Wojcik, director of physical services for the Secretary of State’s office, said the department was not aware of any reports of the disease among state employees “or the general public.”

“Out of an abundance of caution and because of heightened awareness and continued misconceptions about Legionnaires’ disease, we want to make you aware of preliminary test results that indicate the possible presence of Legionella bacteria in the Capitol Complex hot water system,” Wojcik said in a memo to all Capitol Complex state employees obtained by NBC 5.

Wojcik said more testing was underway and results should be available in two weeks.

“In the meantime, we have been advised by experts that the transmission of this bacteria in normal, day-to-day office operations is unlikely,” he said in the memo.

Legionnaire’s disease is usually contracted by inhaling mist or vapor from a contaminated water source, he said. It is not contracted through drinking water or from another person.

Employees were advised to not using showers in the complex and aerators were to be removed, Wojcik said.

More information on a Legionella can be found here.

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