The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shut down several buildings it leases in Atlanta due to the detection of Legionella bacteria in the water systems.
Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory illness similar to pneumonia, is contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets contaminated with the bacteria. Stagnant water in unused plumbing systems can incubate the bacteria because of low levels of disinfectant. The CDC warned businesses and residents this spring to err on the side of caution when reopening buildings that had closed temporarily because of the pandemic.
According to the CDC, proper actions can prevent the spread of the bacteria. The health agency discussed with the owner of the buildings it leases about taking steps to decontaminate the water systems. The buildings will remain closed until remediation is complete.