MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Health announced it identified the likely source of the recent Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that left 22 sick and one dead.
According to MDH, the likely source of the outbreak is a set of cooling towers at Citrus Systems, Inc.
The towers were first identified as a possible source on Sept. 27. It was one of seven towers investigated.
Working with Hennepin County Public Health and the city of Hopkins, MDH took water samples from each of the towers and tested them. The towers from Citrus Systems, Inc. showed strains of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.
MDH also based its conclusions on the distribution of the cases and a breakdown of where each case lived, worked or spent time in Hopkins.
In total, the outbreak affected 23 people – 17 were hospitalized and one person died.
The last person to fall ill was on Sept. 22.
There have not been any further reports of Legionnaires’ disease. Citrus Systems cooperated with all agencies involved and is working to clean and disinfect its towers.
MDH says people can only contract Legionella by inhaling fine aerosol mist containing the bacteria. Citrus Systems’ products were not involved with the outbreak.