Officials: Legionella detected at 2 Illinois prisons

March 12, 2022 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Legionella bacteria has been detected at two Illinois Department of Corrections facilities.

Routine water testing this week found legionella at the Stateville Correctional Center and Joliet Treatment Center, the Illinois departments of Public Health and Corrections announced Friday.

No inmates or staff at either facility are exhibiting symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease and all potentially affected individuals in custody have been notified, officials said.

Upon detection of legionella, officials said they immediately stopped use of the impacted areas and began flushing out the water to remove the bacteria.

The Public Health and Corrections departments “will continue to closely monitor inmates and will conduct rigorous water cleansing and follow up testing to ensure the bacteria is eradicated,” Corrections Director Rob Jeffreys said.

Legionnaire’s disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by inhaling small water droplets containing legionella bacteria. It is generally not spread from person to person.