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BREAKING WEST ORANGE NJ: Employee Hospitalized with Case of Legionnaire’s Disease

By rlsmetro on
West Orange

A long-time township employee was recently hospitalized with a case of Legionnaire’s Disease.

According to a statement released by officials, as a result, the township immediately engaged a certified outside environmental company to test water sources for two buildings where the employee had worked to determine if either had potentially unsafe levels of legionella bacteria.

The illness took place approximately two weeks ago according to city officials.

Officials say today, those test results determined that five of the ten samples in the municipal building have elevated levels of the bacteria.

The potable water supply has been disconnected, and remedial steps are being implemented on an immediate basis. It is not proven that the employee actually contracted the illness from any municipal building.

Another municipal building where the same employee worked was also tested, and the results were negative. Regardless, the township is moving forward to test its other buildings.

But sources told RLS Metro Breaking News that the city only released the information after a councilman requested the reports. The source said city officials shut down the water fountains and gave everyone a bottle of Purell but no one was offered a blood test and State Health officials were never officially notified.

"We are pleased that the employee is making a recovery and are implementing all remedial steps to eliminate the bacteria in question,” said John K. Sayers, Business Administrator.

Mayor Robert D. Parisi stated: “The Township is giving this health issue the importance and attention it demands. We have been assured by outside consultants and experts that by shutting down the potable water supply, installing filters which are being delivered today, replacing the hot water heater which has already been disconnected and making plumbing repairs that the conditions will be remedied and safe. We will ensure that all prescribed remedies are in place as quickly as possible.”

For questions or more information, contact the West Orange Health Department at 973-325-4120 or email