Legionnaires outbreak reported at central Indiana prison

A central Indiana prison is facing an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, with five inmates either testing positive for the bacterial lung infection or with probable cases, officials said.

State correction and health officials are working to determine the source of the outbreak at the Pendleton Correction Facility, about 25 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

Three inmates have confirmed cases of the illness and two others have probable cases, the Indiana Department of Correction said Wednesday. All five inmates have been taken to hospitals for treatment and testing is underway, the DOC said.

The five inmates live in two units of the prison, officials said.

The prison’s hot water has been turned off during the investigation into the source of the illness, but the prison’s toilets and drinking water are not affected. The Legionella bacteria is spread through inhaled water droplets, such as mist or steam, and not person-to-person contact.

“Protecting the incarcerated population and staff at the facility is the top priority,” the DOC said in a news release about the outbreak.

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