Public health officials have detected the bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease in two areas of the Orono Veazie Water District. However, they inform the public that the water is drinkable as they provide additional chlorination and call on the district's customers to stay hydrated in hot weather this weekend.
The Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention sampled the district's water as part of its ongoing process. According to Jackie Farwell, spokesperson for the Department of Health of Maine, these six cases of Legionnaires' disease can be traced back to a common source.
[State identifies cluster of Legionnaires’ disease in Bangor area]
The water district is currently increasing its chlorine levels and plans to conduct follow-up visits.
"Customers of the Orono-Veazie Water District can smell chlorine in their water," said Farwell. "This increased chlorine content is not harmful and the water remains safe to drink and use. Residents of the area do not need to take action to respond to test results or higher levels of chlorine. "
Farwell added," Given the high temperatures expected this weekend, the Maine CDC is calling on residents not to shun drinking water. These water districts, as legionella bacteria are not transmitted by drinking water.
Legionnaire's disease is a type of pneumonia that can occur when people breathe in water droplets contaminated with a type of bacteria that naturally occurs in freshwater. According to Maine CDC, environments such as lakes and streams on infrastructures such as air conditioning and large sanitary facilities spread.
Most healthy people who are exposed to the bacteria do not get sick, and Farwell noted that these are the "bacteria" They are ubiquitous in nature and have been found in other water systems across the country. "
Maine CDC has classified the youngest group of legionnaire cases as cl. This is because they occurred in a single geographical area but have no common source of exposure identified by state health authorities. This is not the same as an outburst that refers to a group of cases that can be traced back to a common source.