Minn. Senator calls on CDC to take more action against recent Legionnaires' outbreaks

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) implored the CDC to take extra measures to combat recent outbreaks of Legionnaires' nationwide. In Hopkins, Minn., a recent outbreak has sickened 20, hospitalized 16 and killed one.

In total, more than 60 people have contracted Legionnaires' in the state in 2016. According to the CDC, more than 5,000 cases of the illness are reported in the U.S. annually.

In her letter to CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, Ms. Klobuchar asked for a response to three questions.

1. What protocol is taken by the CDC to assist state, local and tribal public health officials once an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease is identified?

2. What additional funding mechanisms are available to state, local and tribal governments for preventive measures?

3. What steps are being taken by the CDC, both alone and in coordination with other agencies, to both understand the increasing number of cases and prevent Legionnaires' disease outbreaks across the United States?

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. It is not spread via person-to-person contact or by drinking water, but can be contracted by inhaling mist from infected water sources such as cooling misters and plumbing systems.

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