Sludge, Heat Wave, Dirty Cooling Towers Behind San Quentin's Legionnaire's Disease: Report

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A new report finds that dirty cooling towers were to blame for an outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease that has sickened dozens of inmates and at least four employees at San Quentin State Prison.

The federal receiver who controls inmate medical care said Thursday that tests showed two of the towers had high concentrations of the bacteria.

The report blames a buildup of sludge in water pans as well as a heat wave for the outbreak that has sickened 81 inmates since August, sending 13 to outside hospitals.

The towers have since been cleaned. Twelve employees are still being tested.

The report also says 90 percent of inmates at two prisons in the Central Valley are refusing to be tested for exposure to the illness.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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