MDH: 23 confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease in Hopkins

- The Minnesota Department of Health said Friday that 23 cases of Legionnaires’ disease have now been confirmed in Hopkins, Minn. All of the cases have been confirmed in people who live, work or spent time in Hopkins.

The department of health says the most recent illness for known cases is Sept. 22. Officials say the outbreak likely came from contaminated water that got into the air from cooling towers. The city of Hopkins and Hennepin County Public Health have identified seven locations with one or more cooling towers, as possible sources. Officials say as of Sept. 29 all of those cooling towers have been remediated by their owners.

Environmental samples from cooling towers in the area have been collected and are in the process of being tested. The department of health says since Legionella is a slow-growing bacteria, the testing can take weeks.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Legionnaires' disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophila, which is found in water. The disease is not spread person-to-person, but by inhaling fine spray or aerosols from water that contains the bacteria.

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