A resident of Loyalton of Hagerstown was found to have Legionella, forcing the assisted-living facility near Hagerstown Community College to take extra precautions with its 85 residents, Christine Ogden, the facility's executive director, said Tuesday.
"One of our residents was diagnosed with Legionella, and we don't know where it came from," Ogden said.
Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease, a severe pneumonia that causes 8,000 to 18,000 hospitalizations a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The bacteria usually are found in water, and they thrive in areas such as hot tubs, cooling towers and parts of air-conditioning systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ogden said Washington County Health Department officials don't believe Loyalton was the source of the bacteria, but asked that the assisted-living facility take extra precautions with its use of water.