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Bacterial disease reported at assisted living facility for second time this year

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (FOX 47) – A case of Legionnaires’ disease reappeared at St. John’s Lutheran Community in Albert Lea at their Fountain Lake location.

The facility was informed by the Department of Health that one of their patients had tested positive for the disease and had been hospitalized.

Legionnaires’ is a type of bacterial pneumonia that can be inhaled from water sources containing the bacteria.

The community installed a secondary disinfection system after the disease was reported in April.

“The water is treated as it’s coming in the building. Then, as the water is going through the building, it cleans out any biofilm. We’re flushing all the spigots to move biofilm and any bacteria that might be in the waterline but it takes time,” said Scot Spates, St. John’s Lutheran Community CEO.

Spates says he believes the disease will not reappear once the system has time to clean the pipes and will maintain clean water.

The disease first appeared last year with five cases before returning in April.

The man hospitalized has been released and is back at St. John’s.

Alex Tejada

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