More Health:

August 23, 2015

West Chester University treats cooling towers for Legionnaires' disease bacteria

Hot water temporarily shut down at several university buildings

Health News Legionnaire's Disease
070915_WestChester West Chester University/Facebook

West Chester University seal

West Chester University treated cooling towers on campus after Legionnaires' disease bacteria was detected. 

The university announced Friday that the treatment was effective after further testing. The bacteria had been detected in the hot water systems of several campus buildings, which are listed to the right.

  • Campus buildings tested for Legionnaires' disease bacteria
  • Merion Hall
  • Messikomer Hall
  • Peoples Building
  • Ruby Jones Hall
  • Schmucker Science Center South
  • Speakman Building
  • 13/15 University Avenue
  • Anderson Hall 
  • Main Hall

University officials said that while the levels detected were not cause for "immediate concern," the hot water at those buildings would be turned off over the weekend to have the water systems chlorinated to ensure the bacteria was killed.

An attempt to reach university officials for comment on whether the procedure occurred over the weekend was not immediately returned. 

In July, a university employee tested positive for the disease, prompting the school to hire an outside firm to test for bacteria levels at cooling towers in university buildings. 

Those tests found "higher-than-acceptable" levels of the Legionnaires' disease bacteria at several buildings at the time, and those cooling towers were treated effectively, according to university officials. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia that is caused by the Legionella bacteria, which grows best in warm water and is often found in cooling towers and hot water tanks. 

The disease is spread through breathing in the air of mist or vapor containing the bacteria. It is not spread from person to person. 

Symptoms usually begin 2-10 days after exposure to the bacteria and include coughing, shortness of breath, a high fever, muscle aches, and headaches. 

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in New York City this summer sickened 128 people and took the lives of 12. 

Follow us

Health Videos