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Dartmouth police station closed after officer contracts Legionnaires' Disease

The Dartmouth Police Department was shut down after an employee was diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease. Credit: Getty Images The building's heating system was found to be contaminated. Credit: Getty Images

The Dartmouth Police Department was forced to shut down on Monday after a deadly bacteria was detected.

Examples of Legionella bacteria were found in the heating system aftera Dartmouth police officer fell ill and was subsequently diagnosed with a form of Legionnaires' Disease. The illness,a dangerous form of pneumonia, has a fatality rate of between 5 and 30 percent, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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An independent contractor testing the water associated with the building found that the water in the heating system tested positive for Legionella bacteria. The building was immediately closed and will not reopen until experts deem it is safe.

Legionnaires' Disease has symptoms such asanorexia, myalgia, malaise andheadache, followed by severe fever, chills and a non-productive cough. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are also common.

Despite the station's shutdown, normal operations are being conducted out of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department Mobile Command Unit.

The station will undergo further testing through the week.

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