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Case of Legionnaires' disease reported in W.Va.

Jul. 12, 2013 @ 09:20 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia public health officials are investigating a case of Legionnaires' disease.

The case reportedly involves an employee at the state Department of Education.

Dr. Rahul Gupta is executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. He tells the Charleston Gazette (http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201307110110) his office was notified of the illness earlier this week.

Gupta said he referred the investigation to the state Bureau of Public Health because it involved a state agency.

The illness is contracted by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. The symptoms are similar to those of flu, including coughs, fever and chills.

The bacteria can end up in artificial water supply systems, including air conditioning units, water services and cooling towers.