The Lake County Health District confirms one person is dead as part of 11 cases linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Lake County.
According to Lake County Deputy Health Commissioner Ron Graham, the fatality occurred in July. The ten other people have now recovered.
The bacteria that causes Legionnaires Disease was discovered in the cooling towers at Consolidated Precision Products on Lakeland Boulevard in Eastlake.
Graham says the company immediately hired a contractor to clean and decontaminate, and has since tested negative. One person working at Consolidated Precision Products contracted the illness, as well as one person each at neighboring businesses Pressrite Corporation and Advanced Controls.
"As the water vaporizes the legionella bacteria can be put in the air up to a one-mile radius, Graham explained.
Several of the other 8 cases happened farther away, and Graham says they could be totally unrelated to the cases in Eastlake.
According to Graham, Consolidated Precision Products followed protocol and he's satisfied with the way they handled the situation.
We know that the person who died from Legionnaires' was a 54 year old man. Graham wouldn't release any further information. He says they'll continue to look for any cases they may have missed, and any links to a common source.
Legionnaires' disease has symptoms that can mimic the flu or pneumonia. Graham says the disease is treatable with antibiotics.
"It's not a communicable disease which means it's not transferred person to person. So this is something if you're immunocompromised, the general public would not get this if you're healthy," he told WKYC Channel 3's Carly Flynn Morgan.
On Wednesday evening, Consolidated Precision Products released the following statement:
Consolidated Precision Products’ independent test results recently confirmed the presence of elevated levels of the Legionella bacteria in one of the cooling towers at our Eastlake, OH facility. After these tests were taken, the facility’s production and cooling water systems, including the cooling towers, were cleaned and disinfected by an experienced industrial water treatment company in accordance with recommendations and protocols from the Ohio Department of Health. The cleaning and disinfecting activities that we conducted are the recommended course of action to remedy Legionella bacteria growth in cooling towers. No Legionella bacteria was detected in post-cleaning test results. We have kept our employees informed of the activities at the facility and are fully cooperating with the appropriate federal, state and local health agencies.