DOYLESTOWN — An inmate at the Bucks County correctional facility, who had been hospitalized with respiratory problems, was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, county commissioners said yesterday. The unnamed inmate was reported recovering and has been returned to the prison.
County Health Director Lewis D. Polk said an environmental firm that specializes in microbial identification and remediation would be at the prison today to investigate the source of the disease.
Legionnaires' disease - a serious and sometimes fatal bacterial infection that causes pneumonia and flu-like symptoms - is spread through moist air from contaminated water sources, such as air-conditioning systems, showers and whirlpool baths. The disease is not spread by person-to-person contact and is usually treated effectively with antibiotics such as erythromycin, county officials said.