Bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease found at Fort Sam Houston barracks, JBSA says

Barracks, including Behavioral Health Clinic will be evacuated

Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. (File) (KSAT)

Residents of the Liberty Barracks at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston will be relocated after staff discovered legionella bacteria during water testing.

In a news release Friday, JBSA said more than 80 residents and staff will be moved to other barracks and dorms across JBSA. The service members are from Brooke Army Medical Center’s Soldier Recovery Unit.

The Behavioral Health Clinic inside the barracks will also be relocated and patients will be contacted, JBSA said.

The bacteria, which can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia, was found in unoccupied rooms during routine water testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that people can get sick if they breathe in small droplets of water or swallow contaminated water.

JBSA said no cases of Legionnaires’ disease or legionella-based infections have been reported.

The building will be treated once it is vacated. Authorities will then inspect the building after 72 hours and test for the bacteria through sampling.

“Our routine testing program worked as intended – we identified an issue and are working toward remediation,” Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, the JBSA and 502 Air Base Wing commander said in a news release. “We’ll continue to work with our partners at BAMC to make this temporary relocation as easy as possible for our service members.”


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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.