Cherry Point Exchange Remains Closed After Employee Diagnosed With Legionnaires' Disease

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point's Exchange will remain closed until Thursday even though there is no evidence of Legionnaires' Disease in the complex.

I was confirmed an MCX employee had the disease last week and officials are looking into whether there is a connection to the exchange complex. Tests for the bacteria in the complex's water system have come back negative.

The corps says keeping the exchange closed is just a precautionary measure.

An employee at Cherry Point has been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

The air station says the diagnosis was reported yesterday to Marine officials, and confirmed this morning. WITN News has learned that the woman lives in Onslow County.

The air station has closed down the Marine Corps Exchange where the employee worked and plan to inspect the entire exchange complex. Eighty-two people work at the exchange. Marines say they do not yet know where the employee contracted the illness.

Air station spokesman Mike Barton says the employee is not in the hospital, has been treated by their physician and is in stable condition. Barton says other exchange employees have been told the symptoms of Legionnaires and what to watch out for.

The Onslow County Health Department says the victim was hospitalized at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern. They say the woman has since been released and sent home.

The C.D.C says bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease is found in the environment and is not spread from person to person. The feds say each year between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with the disease which got its name in 1976, when many who went to an American Legion convention in Philadelphia became infected.

The air station expects testing to take approximately two days. The Cherry Point Commissary, which operates on another air system, is not impacted by the closure.

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