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Warren Truck workers

Last week officials from Stellantis’ Warren Truck Assembly (WTAP), located just north of Detroit, released a statement that two workers at the plant had contracted Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially deadly form of bacterial pneumonia.

The fact that two workers at WTAP have contracted Legionnaires’ disease indicates that the more than 3,500 workers at the plant may have been exposed to the bacterium which causes the disease, either within the factory or somewhere else within the community.

Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the Legionella bacterium infecting the lungs. Infections typically spread through breathing contaminated water mist, most often from air conditioning or other water systems, or by accidentally breathing contaminated water while drinking. Symptoms include muscle pains, fever, headache, coughing or shortness of breath.

The last decade has witnessed a substantial increase in reported cases of Legionnaires’ throughout the state of Michigan, and more recently the unhindered spread of COVID-19 throughout factories and the broader community as the companies, politicians and United Auto Workers officials abandoned any semblance of workplace safety or public health policies.

In its statement, the company—which manufactures Jeep, Ram, Chrysler and numerous other brands—asserted that they did not yet know the source of the infections. It continued, “However, out of an abundance of caution for the safety and welfare of our employees, we have mobilized a team to begin testing water sources, and are following appropriate and established protocols at the plant. As part of our thorough investigation, we will contact and cooperate with all proper agencies as necessary.”

The health status of the infected workers was not immediately clear.

Following the incident Stellantis officials told news station FOX 2 that the company shut down three water test operations and carried out a deep clean.

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