Milwaukee Health Department continues Legionella investigation

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) continues its investigation into possible sources tied to 14 confirmed cases of Legionnaire's disease in the city.

Legionnaire's disease is acquired after inhaling mists from a water source that contains the bacteria. Possible sources can include large cooling towers, hot water tanks, decorative fountains and hot tubs. Drinking water is not a source of legionella.

"Our medical and environmental health experts are proceeding with an in-depth investigation, and continue to collaborate with other local health jurisdictions as well as state health officials," said Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker.

Legionnaire's disease is a pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. It cannot be spread person to person. Those most susceptible are individuals who smoke heavily, have chronic lung disease, or have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or cancer.

Of the current 14 cases, 13 are reported to have underlying health conditions and four remain hospitalized. No new cases have been confirmed at this time.

Further information, including legionella signs and symptoms and a cooling tower maintenance protocol for businesses can be found at