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Legionnaires' Bacteria In Batavia Schools: Traces Of Dangerous Bacteria Found In 3 Illinois Schools

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Alice Gustafson School, left, and Batavia High School were two of three schools where traces of Legionella bacteria were found.
Alice Gustafson School, left, and Batavia High School were two of three schools where traces of Legionella bacteria were found.

Traces of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease were discovered Thursday in three schools in suburban Batavia, Ill.

Though the disease can be fatal -- and was blamed for the death of three and infection of at least eight during an outbreak at a high-end downtown Chicago hotel this summer -- Batavia Superintendent Jack Barshinger told Patch that no illnesses have been reported and that neither students nor employees at the school were in immediate danger as levels of contamination are low.

The impacted schools included Alice Gustafson and Hoover-Wood elementary schools, where bacteria was found on bathroom faucets, and a Batavia High School locker room, where the bacteria was traced to a shower head, the Chicago Tribune reports. All the schools are located in Batavia District 101.

The bacteria was detected following “proactive water quality analyses” across the district, according to the Daily Herald.

The affected areas in the schools will be closed and cleaned over the upcoming three-day Columbus Day weekend.

Legionella spreads through the inhalation of contaminated water vapor, and can cause Legionnaire's disease, a severe form of pneumonia. Symptoms include headache, chills, chest pain and fever. The disease often mirrors regular pneumonia, and can only be confirmed by a urine test.

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