Workers Worry as Third Cleveland Man Reports a Possible Case of Legionnaire's Disease

A worker at a city of Cleveland, Ohio service garage on Ridge Road has been told he should be tested for Legionnaire's disease. He's the third worker at the garage suspected of having the disease.

Two other workers Robert Deitrich and Robert Bays were diagnosed with Legionnaires' after they were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Bays contracted the disease in October and has since recovered. Dietrich entered Cleveland's Lutheran Hospital on July 26, suffering from a temperature of 104 degrees. He subsequently suffered a heart attack and is listed in stable condition in the intestive care unit of Lutheran Hospital.

Deitrich's wife, Linda, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer her husband was planning to retire in April 2005, but now is expected to go on disability.

"They say he'll never be able to work on the truck again," Linda Deitrich told the newspaper.

Officials from the Cleveland Department of Public Health took water samples earlier this week to try to find the source of the Legionella bacteria. In the meantime, the Health Department shut down a high-pressure steam-washing system, which Bays speculated might be the cause of the bacteria, since all three men worked near the system or were exposed to water from the sprayer. Workers at the garage have been instructed to see their doctors if they suffer from flu-like symptoms.

The city has hired a contractor to inspect water sources at the garage and to recommend decontamination steps.

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