Missouri agency requests state money to fight fatal disease

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MISSOURI (AP) — A Missouri agency is asking the state for more funding to combat Legionnaires’ disease.

The severe form of pneumonia has sickened more than 800 people in the state over the last five years.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said the state has increased its response to the disease and that current state laboratory staff are unable to complete all duties in documents submitted to state budget officials.

Missouri officials requested funding for a lab scientist and want the state to hire two environmental public health specialists and one epidemiology specialist.

They would handle fieldwork duties and an influx of Legionella testing samples.

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