Expert quells concerns after toll workers get Legionnaires’

BALTIMORE (AP) — A health expert says drivers have little to fear about contracting Legionnaires’ disease from two Baltimore Harbor Tunnel toll booth workers who got sick.

News outlets report the toll plaza partially closed Tuesday and Wednesday to investigate the origin of the bacteria.

The Baltimore Sun reports the bacteria is usually contracted through contaminated water vapor, not transmitted person to person.

Tamara O’Connor, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who has studied the bacteria’s development, says chances are slim that drivers could have contracted the disease while paying their toll. O’Connor says a limited amount of people with weakened immune systems would be susceptible to catching the disease.

Drivers had been asked to avoid the tunnel since November because of a three-year bridge replacement project currently underway.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up