Officials Shut Off Hot Water to West Chester University Buildings After Detecting Legionnaires' Disease Bacteria

Hot water was shut off to several buildings at West Chester University after officials detected Legionnaires’ disease bacteria.

Officials detected legionella bacteria in the hot water systems in the following West Chester University buildings: Anderson Hall, Main Hall, Merion Hall, Messikomer Hall, Peoples Building, Ruby Jones Hall, Schumucker Science Center South, Speakman Building, and 13/15 University Avenue.

While officials say the bacteria levels detected are “not cause for immediate concern,” they still shut off hot water to the buildings for the weekend. The hot water systems will also be super-chlorinated to kill the bacteria.

Last month an employee at West Chester University tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease and officials found legionella bacteria in the cooling towers of some of the buildings. The towers were treated to kill the bacteria and officials confirmed the treatment was effective after re-testing.

Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia spread by bacteria commonly found in water supplies. Symptoms, which normally begin 2 to 14 days after someone is exposed to the bacteria, include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches and headaches.

READ MORE about Legionnaires’ disease HERE.

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