Bellefontaine Examiner

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One AAP employee dead, another sick from Legionnaires’ disease in St. Marys

ST. MARYS — Officials are looking for a possible source of the Legionnaires’ bacteria that killed one employee and left another sick at AAP in St. Marys.

The names of the man who died or the other who is sick were not released. Both worked at AAP, an automotive parts supplier. The cases were confirmed a couple of weeks ago and reported to the Ohio Department of Health.

Officials said the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease is prevalent everywhere, but most times people have no problems with it.

AAP has been very cooperative and proactive, authorities said, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has performed an investigation and testing. The earliest test results were expected is Friday. The company has also gone ahead and treated possible bacteria sources, even though they may not be the problem.

Auglaize County has had cases of Legionnaires’ before, but not two cases linked like this. The general public isn’t any more at risk than usual, officials said, but should take the usual precautions and avoid ingesting dirty water. The symptoms of Legionnaires’ start off much like the flu with headache, fever and cough, and they then get worse. The disease is treatable if treatment starts early.

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