San Quentin, a prison in California, has turned off its water after six inmates were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. Dozens of other inmates also presented with symptoms consistent with pneumonia.
As a result of this Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, authorities at San Quentin shut off water to the prison and instead brought in portable toilets, bottled water, and water tanks. Showering and cooking with water is currently not allowed.
“Fortunately, Legionnaires’ is not an infectious disease — it cannot be transmitted person to person. It is transmitted through aerosolized water [such as steam], or inhaling contaminated soil,” said Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the team responsible for California inmate healthcare.
There are over 3,700 inmates in San Quentin and more than 1,200 employees. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has been investigating the source of Legionnaires’ disease and testing inmates who show any symptoms consistent with the illness.