Maine health officials this week publish the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires disease — a severe form of pneumonia — has been detected in samples from the Orono-Veazie Water District, a water utility company located in Orono.
The Orono-Veazie Water District is increasing chlorine levels to eliminate the bacteria.
The water is still safe to drink, Jackie Farwell, a spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, told by the News.
“Customers of the Orono-Veazie Water District may smell chlorine in their water,” she said. “This increased level of chlorine is not harmful, and the water remains safe to drink and use. Local in the area do not need to take any action in response to the test outcomes or higher chlorine levels.”
Farwell added: “Particularly in light of high temperatures expected this weekend, Maine CDC urges residents not to avoid drinking water from this water district, as Legionella bacteria should not be transmitted through the act of drinking water.”
The Maine Middle for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned in a current public health advisory that six confirmed instances of Legionnaires’ illness have occurred since November 2018 within the Bangor space. The state well-being company is now investigating if these circumstances could also be linked to the Orono-Veazie Water District. That stated, the Maine CDC mentioned it “has not recognized common publicity amongst instances” presently.
Legionnaires’ disease is a “dreadful form of pneumonia,” according to the Mayo Clinic, which explains pneumonia is the inflammation of the lung that is sometimes caused by an infection.
“You can’t catch Legionnaires’ disease from person-to-individual contact. As an alternative, most people get Legionnaires’ illness from inhaling the bacteria,” the Mayo Clinic states, noting that older adults, those that smoke or these with “weakened immune systems” are the most susceptible.
Legionella Pneumophila, a bacterium, is usually the cause of the illness. It can be situated in soil and water, but more commonly causes infection when it multiplies in water techniques, corresponding to hot tubs and air conditioners.