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Man who died of Legionnaires’ worked next to Lake County plant

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EASTLAKE, Ohio-- The Cuyahoga County man who died of Legionnaires' disease in August worked next door to the Eastlake plant at the center of the outbreak.

Investigators believe Legionella bacteria originated from the cooling towers at Consolidated Precision Products in Eastlake, Lake County Health Commissioner Ron Graham said. Three people at the plant became ill, as well as eight others within a five-mile radius of the facility.

"In this case, it was very clearly a concern over the water cooling towers located at Consolidated Precision Products, I want to be clear that we cannot confirm that any of these cases actually came from that facility," Graham said.

Anthony Washington, 54, of Cleveland, worked as a tool and die maker at Press Rite. He suffered four heart attacks and passed away on Aug. 8 within a week of being hospitalized, his brother Greg Washington said.

Washington's brother said the family wasn't told he had Legionnaire's disease while at the Cleveland Clinic. In October, they notified the Lake County Health Department, which started an investigation, the family said.

Anthony Washington had two sons, ages 17 and 23.

Legionella does not spread person to person. It can travel about a mile through the air. Symptoms, which are similar to pneumonia, include fever, cough, headaches and shortness of breath. Legionnaires' disease usually requires hospitalization and in extreme cases can results in lung failure or death.

Consolidated Precision Products released a statement, saying it cleaned the cooling water systems and cooling towers. No Legionella bacteria was found when it was tested after being disinfected.

Consolidated Precision Products