CDC Offices Contaminated After Lockdown

CDC headquarters | File photo

CDC closes some offices over bacteria discovery

Aug 8, 2020 | 

New York Times – The nation’s foremost public health agency is learning that it is not immune to the complex effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told employees that some office space it leases in the Atlanta area would be closed again after property managers of the buildings discovered Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, in water sources at the sites. 

That the C.D.C. is contending with this problem highlights the seriousness of Legionella in the aftermath of coronavirus lockdowns, and how complicated it can be to prevent it.

The C.D.C. itself warns that Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory illness, can be fatal in 1 in 10 cases.

Since various jurisdictions in the United States have put in effect lockdowns to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, some experts have been warning of the risk of Legionnaires’ outbreaks when people return to buildings left unoccupied for months.

The bacteria that causes the illness, Legionella pneumophila, can form in warm, stagnant water that is not properly disinfected.

When sinks are turned on or toilets flushed, the bacteria can then be sent through the air and inhaled.

While most earlier research focused on the growth of Legionella during weekends and short holiday periods, scientists are only beginning to learn about how the bacteria proliferates during periods of long-term stagnation, and which methods are most effective to protect against it.

As the U.S. relief talks falter again, Trump says he is prepared to act on his own.

Cuomo says N.Y. schools can reopen in-person but leaves it up to districts to determine if, when and how.
Thousands of cases went unreported in California when a computer server failed.

“Legionella is something that even though we’ve known about it since the 1970s or so, we’re still learning about it everyday … ” Read more. 

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