Extended closures in Metro Detroit school buildings increase the risk of Legionella

Is not a coronavirus (COVID-19) Sole illness Teachers and parents worry that students go back to school. Quick and extended shutdown School buildings have also increased the danger of Legionella.

Legionella is the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease, and has been found in several schools near Dayton, Ohio, and in a Pittsburgh suburb.

The bacteria were detected during routine testing as the buildings were set to reopen. Officials say those searches should serve as a warning to other schools.

“These things happen with older buildings or buildings that are not used very often, so, I mean, we rely on experts to make the system flush,” said parent Derek Kotney.

Legionella can form in stagnant water, from locker room shower heads to drinking fountains to classroom sinks that have become more useless than usual. Epidemic causes.

When water sources are turned on, the bacteria spread mist, and if inhaled, it can cause Legionnaires’ disease.

“It sounds like cough, fever, shortness of breath and unfortunately, COVID-19,” said Dr. infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. Alan Taige said. “It can be a little difficult to differentiate.”

Younger, healthy people exposed to Legionella are less likely to get sick than older adults and those with weaker immune systems.

Legionnaires’ disease is usually treated with antibiotics, but it can be fatal.

“This is not something that people fear, but just an honor,” said Taige.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines to reopen the buildings after a prolonged closure. Officials said those guidelines, including testing and flushing water systems, may apply in schools. Those are steps many schools have taken to keep students and staff members safe.

The best way to prevent Legionella from growing is to keep the water moving through the flushing system and keep every tap, fountain and shower running at regular intervals. If this was not done during the bandh, schools need to be proactive about testing for water.

Hot tubs or spas that have been closed in the gym can also be a Legionella risk.

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