School stock

CHESTERTON — Duneland School Corp. confirmed another case of Legionnaires' disease Thursday, this time for a child who attends the YMCA Early Learning Academy housed at Chesterton Middle School.

A parent of a child who attends the academy had her child tested Monday after the child showed symptoms. DSC officials were notified Thursday that test results were positive for the presence of legionella pneumophila, suggesting a current or past infection, according to a release on the school corporation's website. 

On Oct. 4, the school corporation closed both Chesterton Middle School and Westchester Intermediate School after a Duneland School Corp. employee self-reported a positive test for Legionnaires' disease.

Elevated water tests conducted Oct. 3 showed trace amounts of legionella bacteria, a cause of Legionnaires' disease, in the two schools' water systems.

Classes resumed Monday. In a joint statement late Thursday, school corporation and health department officials said only one confirmed case and one presumptive case of the disease have been reported to date.

All remediation efforts demonstrate that water systems are currently operating at temperatures that prohibit legionella bacteria to grow, officials said in the statement.

Keep reading for FREE!
Enjoy more articles by signing up or logging in. No credit card required.

Dr. Maria Stamp, a medical doctor and health officer for the Porter County Health Department, said she is confident there is no reason for DCS schools to be closed related to the most recent diagnosis.  

DCS officials said absence records between Aug. 1 and Oct. 10 will be reviewed for students and employees in order to identify additional cases. Students or employees who were absent for more than three consecutive days will be identified, and an attempt will be made to determine if anyone in that group experienced pneumonia-like symptoms, the release states. 

Those who used three or more consecutive days of leave during this period can expect to be contacted by a DSC representative for an interview.

How and where the employee contracted the disease, which is developed through the inhalation of bacteria in water particles, is not known at this time. District officials do not believe it was contracted as a result to exposure to any water system within the Duneland School Corp., according to a district statement released earlier in the month.

Efforts are being coordinated through the health department and updates will be sent via email to families and staff and posted on the corporation website, officials said.

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Porter County General Assignment Reporter

Emily covers Porter County news and features for The Times. A transplant from NW Ohio to NWI, Emily loves talking to people and hearing their stories. She graduated from the University of Toledo in 2018 and believes all dogs are good dogs.