The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 31, 2013

Somerset prison seeks source of Legionnaires’ cases


Associated Press

SOMERSET — State corrections officials are searching for the source of four cases of Legionnaires’ disease at State Correctional Institution Somerset.

Corrections Secretary John Wetzel says officials are taking the situation very seriously, but that the public is not in any danger.

SCI-Somerset discovered its first case July 15 after an inmate got sick and needed treatment outside the prison, where he tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires. A second inmate was diagnosed July 21, and two more were diagnosed July 24. All four are in recovery inside the prison.

Authorities are reviewing data from water tests to try to determine the most likely source of the potentially fatal disease, which is spread through water.