FOUR schools in Gibraltar have been forced to close after the bacteria which causes Legionnaire’s Disease was discovered in their water systems.
The Ministry of Education released a statement on Monday night saying the closures were following advice from the director of Public Health.
The education centres affected – St Bernard’s Lower Primary, St Bernard’s Upper Primary, St Joseph’s Lower Primary and St Joseph’s Upper Primary – will all be closed for at least two days.
Their systems will be cleansed of the legionella bacteria via a hypochlorination treatment, reported GBC news.
The Government cited the safety of students and staff in its decision to close the schools.
Alternative arrangements for the children are being discussed and parents will be informed of any decisions made.
The schools had been closed for weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The warmer temperatures and stagnant water laying in the pipework would have likely created the perfect conditions for bacteria growth.
Legionella bacteria is usually spread in water, through things such as air-conditioning, and can lie symptom-less in those who contract it for up to two weeks.
It causes Legionnaire’s disease, a rare form of pneumonia.
It usually affects older people, with a higher risk in smokers and those with poor immune systems.