Virginia health officials find seven sites with Legionella germs

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia health officials say they’ve found the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease at seven locations in one county, including schools and a hospital.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports health officials have been scouring sites in Chesterfield County following 10 recent cases of Legionnaires’ disease among older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia. The Mayo Clinic says it can be treated with antibiotics and most people contract it by inhaling the germs. Health officials say they usually see about three cases each summer.

Alex Samuel, director of Chesterfield’s health district, says the bacteria was found in cooling towers at the locations. But Samuel said the discoveries don’t necessarily mean there’s an outbreak.

Chesterfield school officials say no staff members have reported becoming sick.