Source of Legionnaires Outbreak Identified
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Health believes it has pinpointed the likely source of a recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in Hopkins.
Officials say lab test results and analysis of the cases of the potentially deadly infection point to a set of cooling towers at a manufacturing facility operated by Citrus Systems. Laboratory testing of water samples taken from the cooling towers showed the strain of Legionella bacteria found in one of the cooling towers matched the strain of bacteria in samples taken from patients linked to the outbreak. Additional samples were used for so-called DNA fingerprinting to confirm that the cooling towers were the likely culprit.
Almost 2 dozen people who live and work in the Twin Cities suburb developed Legionnaires’ disease. 17 required hospitalization and one person died from the infection. The last case of anyone becoming ill with Legionnaires’ disease connected to the outbreak was on September 22nd.