Bacteria tied to Legionnaires' disease found at American Airlines DFW hangars

American Airlines said it has found the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease in shower heads at its maintenance hangars at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

The Fort Worth-based carrier said it tested water samples at four hangars on the west side of the airport and found varying levels of legionella bacteria. One employee contracted Legionnaires’ disease but has since recovered. But there is no evidence the employee contracted it at the hangars, American said.

“We’ve been very transparent throughout this process with our employees, updating them regularly on what we are doing to address the issues,” said American spokesman Matt Miller. “We are working closely with DFW Airport and Tarrant County Public Health on long-term safety measures to ensure the cleanliness of the water at our maintenance hangars.”

American said it is placing filters on all showers and faucets at its hangars and plans to test the filters repeatedly and replace them every 30 days. It is also providing bottled water to employees even though ingesting legionella is not thought to cause the disease.

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