Two Franklin County Job and Family services employees sickened with Legionnaires' disease


Two Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services employees have recovered after being diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

The employees work out of the Northland Opportunity Center. It's business as usual there, but the water fountains are off limits in the building with a notice posted on the wall above explaining why. Free bottled water is being offered.

"Where they got it from exactly we don't know that's what we're trying to determine," said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Health Commissioner with Columbus Public Health.

Franklin County Job and Family Services says a call from a patient's doctor to Columbus Public Health late Tuesday evening sparked an investigation into the source of the bacteria. Columbus health officials did an environmental assessment which means they looked for any obvious signs of a problem like with water fountains.

"It's not a disease that is passed from person to person. It does come from vaporized water and we see several cases of this every year right here in Franklin County," said Dr. Roberts.

Columbus Public Health confirmed 115 case of Legionnaires since January in Franklin county. Anyone can get it but those with weakened or compromised immune systems are more at risk.

"You could have some symptoms like the flu but with a cough," said Dr. Roberts.

Franklin County Job and Family Services brought in an outside firm to test the water and ventilation system. They are waiting for results. They also expect to get a report back from Columbus Public Health in the next few days.

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