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Beckley newspaper plant temporarily closed after algae found

By Staff reports

BECKLEY, W.Va. -- The Register-Herald newspaper plant in Beckley will close for several days of environmental testing after algae was found in two air-conditioning units, according to Frank Wood, the newspaper's publisher.

The paper will continue to be published every day while the building is closed. It will be printed at its sister paper, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

The Register-Herald reports that Wood ordered the environmental testing after an employee was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria.

A routine test found algae in two of the building's five air-conditioning-heating units, Wood told the Register-Herald.

Legionnaires' disease is usually contracted by breathing in mist that contains the bacteria. The mist often comes from hot tubs, showers or large air-conditioning units and cannot be spread from person-to-person, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The employee has been treated and cleared to return to work, according to the Register-Herald.

No other employees have reported symptoms of Legionnaire's disease, Wood told the Register-Herald.Wood told the Register-Herald that the testing takes seven to 10 days to complete.


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