The camp where the Maine National Guard is set to deploy in a bid to restore power and water after a major storm has been plagued by an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The department said it has found Legionnaires infections in 14 of the 17 sites the Maine Guard is expected to visit in the coming months.
The Maine Guard was set to visit two of the camp sites on Thursday, a spokesman said.
Officials said the camp in the town of Fort Hancock, where campers have been in the quarantine for nearly a year, will remain closed until at least March.
The camp in Cresson, Maine, is also set to remain closed, although officials said the area remains under a curfew.
The camp in Fauquier, Maine is also scheduled to stay closed.
Officials did not immediately know how many people are infected there.
The state has said it expects to have enough treatment beds and beds to treat the entire population by April.
The Department of Homeland Security has been testing camp residents in Maine and in other states, but the outbreak is likely to be the first confirmed case of Legionella pneumophila to come from outside the U, DHS spokesman Dan Steinberg said in a statement.
Officials said they will continue to monitor the outbreak.
We’re not going to sit back and wait,” Steinberg told reporters Thursday.
The U.N. agency said Wednesday it was warning residents to take precautions against the outbreak, which has infected more than 40 people and killed at least 23.
The agency also said it was preparing a report on the outbreak to the United Nations Security Council.
Paul LePage said Thursday that it’s not clear how the outbreak will be contained because the disease is spread through direct contact with water.
Agency officials told local media that the water supply at the camp has been shut down since April and that the health department has been investigating the camp’s water supply.