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updated: 10/4/2012 10:15 PM

Traces of Legionella bacteria found at 3 Batavia schools

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Daily Herald report

Legionella bacteria have been found in the water at three schools in Batavia District 101, but it is not likely to cause illness, according to a note to parents issued by the district late Thursday.

Superintendent Jack Barshinger told parents that "proactive water quality analyses" detected traces of the bacteria that cause Legionnaire's disease at Alice Gustafson Elementary School/Early Childhood Center, Batavia High School and Hoover-Wood Elementary School.

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"After consulting with the Kane County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health, I was assured that the possibility of contracting Legionnaires' disease is extremely low," Barshinger said.

No related illnesses have been reported. District officials said they put the safety of students and employees first by immediately securing the affected sites and starting a comprehensive remediation plan, Barshinger said.

Legionella bacteria are commonly found in water and water fixtures. In rare circumstances, these bacteria may cause Legionnaires' disease in people with compromised immune systems, he said.

Barshinger was not immediately available for further comment Thursday night.

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