Chesterton Tribune



Schools report that YMCA Early Learning student tests positive for Legionella

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A child who attends the YMCA Early Learning Academy--housed at Chesterton Middle School--has tested presumptively positive for the presence of Legionella Pneeumophila, the bacterium which causes Legionnaire’s disease.

According to the Duneland School Corporation (DSC), the child was tested on Monday after presenting symptoms, and DSC was notified on Thursday of the test result, “suggesting a current or past infection.”

A Porter County Health Department officer, Dr. Stamp, has reviewed both that test result and DSC’s remediation efforts--completed on Sunday, Oct. 6--and Stamp has concluded the following, DSC said: “All remediation efforts demonstrate that water systems are currently operating at temperatures that prohibit Legionella bacteria to grow, thus DSC water systems are safe. Dr. Stamp is confident there is no reason for DCS schools to be closed related to this more recent diagnosis.”

“Dr. Stamp has further recommended that DCS follow OSHA recommendations to review absence patterns of staff and students,” DSC added. “Persons at high risk to or for Legionnaires Disease are those who smoke tobacco, elderly, have underlying lung disease or are immunocompromised. In general, people do not spread Legionnaires disease to other people.”

DSC will be contacting students or staff who have recently missed three or more consecutive days at Chesterton Middle School, the YMCA Early Learning Academy, and Duneland Central Administration, “to determine if they experienced fever, cough, shortness of breath, and headache symptoms.”

“If such symptoms have occurred, affected persons will be recommended to seek a medical evaluation,” DSC said.

DSC undertook remediation efforts at Chesterton Middle School and Westchester Intermediate School after testing of the water supplies there showed higher than normal traces of Legionella. Those tests were conducted after a DSC employee self-reported having contracted Legionnaire’s disease.



Posted 10/11/2019




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