GSK shuts down part of Zebulon site after bacteria found in cooling towers
Posted 2:36 p.m. today
Updated 32 minutes ago
Raleigh, N.C. — Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline temporarily shut down part of its manufacturing site in Zebulon on Tuesday after the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease was found in the cooling towers, a company spokesperson said.
A routine test found the bacteria legionella, which can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia, or a milder infection called legionellosis.
A spokesman said the entire campus, which has several buildings, was not shut down – only the main site. The bacteria was not found in any of the buildings, and the cooling towers do not directly put air into the buildings.
Employees will not return to work until the towers are cleaned and retested.
“We are taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our employees, as well as the safety and integrity of our products,” spokeswoman Jenni Brewer Ligday said in an email.
The North Carolina Division of Public Health said no one has reported any symptoms or illness associated with the shutdown.
GSK employs several thousand people across the Triangle and uses the Zebulon plant to manufacture a variety of products. Among the products made in Zebulon are Advair, Breo and Ellipta.