By Chris Tye

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two schools closed today in Chesterton, Indiana.

The reason?

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A staffer sick with Legionnaires’ disease.

And then, the two schools tested positive for the bacteria legionella, which transmits typically by water droplets or mist.

CBS 2’s Chris Tye has the latest from Chesterton where the hunt is on to find out how it happened.

The tests came back Thursday night that there was evidence legionella somewhere in the Chesterton schools and the question is where did it come from?

Reaven Flores’ son Isaiah was one of hundreds home today.

“I asked him this morning ‘do you feel sick?’ ‘Does your body hurt?’  He says no.”

His school, Chesterton Middle, had an elevated legionella count in its hot water system. Down the road, it was the cooling system at Westchester Intermediate that had elevated numbers.

That, along with a staffer, it’s unclear if it’s a teacher or support staff sick with Legionnaires’ disease, left classrooms and playgrounds quiet on Friday and left this mom’s unsettling feeling is far from over.

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“From what I read, the symptoms don’t show up for two to 10 days,” Flores said.

As crews flush the systems and change out equipment on Friday, the district sounded an all-clear for next week.

But just because school is back Monday, the trickle-down effect for special needs students like Isaiah aren’t over.

“Special education students don’t get to take home their iPads. So now the other kids are getting e-learning day and the special education students are not,” added Flores.

And the investigation continues, the message from the school district is this: if your kids appear to have any flu or pneumonia-like symptoms, reach out for medical attention quickly.

The school district conducted tests on all district buildings. Those results aren’t back yet.

Legionnaires’ is treatable with antibiotics.


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