Albert Lea, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Health and public health officials in Freeborn County are investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease involving residents of a long-term care facility in Albert Lea. The St. John’s Fountain Lake facility provides assisted-living, memory care, skilled nursing care and independent living services.

The first person sickened by the Legionella bacteria develop symptoms in early June, while the 2nd case involved a resident whose symptoms were reported to state officials yesterday. Both are currently hospitalized.

Investigators are working to identify possible sources of toxin-producing bacteria, but at the same time, the facility is implementing the number of protective measures recommended by the health department to minimize the chances of other residents being exposed to Legionella, which is associated with severe and potentially fatal pneumonia. It is spread by inhaling fine spray from water sources containing the bacteria.

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