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Legionnaires’ Bacteria Found In New Santa Clara County Crime Lab

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A laboratory technician handles blood samples in a crime lab. (CBS)

A laboratory technician handles blood samples in a crime lab. (CBS)

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KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) — High levels of dangerous bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease were detected in the water system at Santa Clara County’s new crime lab, county officials said.

The bacteria was discovered in a water pipe at the new $75 million crime lab at 250 Hedding St. in San Jose on Nov. 1. Since then, employees have been advised to wash their hands with bottled water and use hand sanitizer to avoid contamination.

One county employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, told KCBS that she was concerned about the accuracy of the information released.

“What are employees not being told? Is all the water supply contaminated? Is it just this one and they’re keeping it isolated? Are there going to be other buildings and departments that are going to have the same issue?” she said.

County officials stated that the problem seems to be isolated to just one area of the crime lab where bacteria may have festered in an emergency wash station that wasn’t flushed out frequently enough.

The contamination has not affected crime scene processing in the lab. Those forensic tests use only distilled water.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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