GlaxoSmithKline to reopen plant where bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease found

Associated Press

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline plans to resume operations at a North Carolina plant that closed after discovery of bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.

GSK said in a statement Friday the plant in Zebulon that produces inhaled medications will reopen Monday. It had closed Aug. 11 after testing found the bacteria in cooling towers.

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The London-based company said the towers have been cleaned and disinfected. About 400 employees were told to stay away until the towers were cleaned.

The same bacteria found in water tanks in the Bronx section of New York City caused 12 Legionnaires' disease deaths this summer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 8,000 to 18,000 Americans are hospitalized with the illness annually.