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Health officials warn of possible Legionnaires’ exposure at Missouri cancer center

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – Health officials are warning of a potential for Legionnaires’ disease exposure at an outpatient cancer center in Springfield.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department says in a news release that two cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported since late April among individuals who visited Mercy health system’s outpatient cancer center in Springfield. State and local officials are investigating, along with the health system.

People are infected with the severe form of pneumonia by inhaling airborne water droplets containing the Legionella bacterium. Health officials say a species of the bacterium not usually associated with Legionnaires’ has been recovered in water samples. That indicates that conditions are conducive to Legionella growth within the facility’s water system.

The release says there’s no guarantee that this was the source of the illness.

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