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Published March 02, 2010, 07:38 AM

Second courthouse worker gets sick from bat guano

WASHBURN, N.D. (AP) — The McLean County Commission voted on Tuesday to close the two oldest portions of the county's century-old courthouse, after a second employee was diagnosed with a serious illness caused by bat droppings.

WASHBURN, N.D. (AP) — The McLean County Commission voted on Tuesday to close the two oldest portions of the county's century-old courthouse, after a second employee was diagnosed with a serious illness caused by bat droppings.

Workers in the older portions of the courthouse will be moved to the newer portion, built in 1963, and to offices around Washburn over the next month. The commission will determine and compare the cost of renovating the courthouse and replacing it.

The county has battled a bat problem at the courthouse for years. Voters in 2002 rejected building a new courthouse.

Commissioner Julie Hudson-Schenfisch said earlier that a second worker has been diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota with the fungal infection histoplasmosis, caused by breathing in spores from bat guano.

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