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Published: Tuesday, 8/6/2013

6th Ohioan dies in Legionnaires' disease outbreak


COLUMBUS — A sixth person has died in Ohio’s largest outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Franklin County Public Health today confirmed the death of a sixth resident from Wesley Ridge Retirement Community in Reynoldsburg, just east of Columbus. The agency released no details.

A total of 39 people have been sickened at Wesley Ridge, which is taking steps to prevent further illness.

The rare pneumonia isn’t contagious. People contract it by breathing in water droplets contaminated with bacteria that are found naturally in water and sometimes multiply in man-made water systems.

The bacteria were found in a cooling tower and the water system at Wesley Ridge.

Health officials are trying to determine what caused a second outbreak 80 miles away in St. Marys, where one person died and another became ill.

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