photo: WWJ/Mike Campbell

Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires' Disease Discovered At Ford Rouge Plant

June 26, 2019 - 9:19 am

DEARBORN (WWJ) - Concerns about Legionnaires' disease are spreading at the Ford Rouge plant.  

WWJ has obtained a letter sent to workers at the Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant from the Ford Rouge Human Resources manager which says water in three locations at the plant had Legionella bacteria, but the bacteria count did not exceed internal Ford guidelines that require immediate shutdown of the equipment for disinfection.  

The letter goes on to say the two restrooms and the medical department will be disinfected according to established procedures.  

Ford says the bacteria was discovered during regular water testing, which it does at all of its facilities. 

No illnesses have been reported so far. 

Legionnaires' is a pneumonia caused by bacteria that thrive in warm water and infect the lungs via water vapor that's inhaled. In general, legionella bacteria do not spread from one person to another. It is a treatable disease if diagnosed early.

Common symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include cough, fever, chills and muscle aches. In some cases, pneumonia may develop. People at increased risk of contracting the disease are those 50 years or older; current or former smokers; people with a chronic lung disease (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema); people with weak immune systems or who take drugs that weaken the immune system (like after a transplant operation or chemotherapy); people with cancer; and people with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure.