Officials confirm 2 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease at Salem apartment complex

SALEM, MASS. (WHDH) - Two cases of Legionnaires’ Disease have been confirmed at an apartment complex in Salem, officials said.

The Salem Board of Health notified the Pequot Highlands apartment complex earlier this week and a spokesman for the complex said an outside company’s tests of the complex’s water system came back positive.

Residents were asked to leave if they could and if they chose to stay they were asked not to take any showers or fill up their sinks too quickly to avoid any water vapor

Legionnaires’ Disease is a lung disease, a serious form of pneumonia that people can get when they inhale a mist or vapor with the bacteria.

Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, and muscle aches. The elderly and people with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to the disease.

The complex began treating the water system on Saturday morning. Treatment typically takes 24 to 30 hours to be effective.

The apartment complex expects this will be completely resolved on Sunday.

Jamie Leopoldo lives in the building and said, “They hired some people, completely cleaned up the water and tape them up so we didn’t actually do it. They let some people spend nights in hotels and stuff. Just now, they said it’s okay to use, they gave us test strips and everything’s fine now.”

All shower heads and faucet aerators are being replaced as well.

The company will test the water after the treatment is done, and the complex says they will be regularly testing in weeks to come to ensure the bacteria is gone from the water system.

No word on the status of the two people who contracted the disease.

No further information has been released.

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