September 28, 2016

Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Kills 1, Sickens 17 in Hopkins, MN

The Minnesota Department of Health is scrambling to pinpoint the source of a serious outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that has sickened 17 people who had been living, visiting, or working in Hopkins, Minnesota since August 4th. One of these victims has now died. The person who died was elderly and was one of the previously confirmed patients. Doug Schultz of the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed those numbers. All of the cases were exposed before or during the first full week of September 2016, before the outbreak was identified. The victims, all exposed to the potentially fatal Legionella pneumonia bacteria in the Hopkins vicinity, range in age from their 20s to their 90s; most are elderly or have chronic health conditions. Legionella bacteria are commonly found in the … [Read more...]

2 Cardiac Patients at UW Medical Center Diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease; 1 Dead.

Two patients who were admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC)’s cardiac unit in late August were subsequently diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia which can be fatal in up to 50% of hospital-acquired cases. While one of these unnamed patients was treated and released, the other patient – a resident of Benton County – has died. According to the Seattle Times, the first case was reported on August 26, 2016. At this time, hospital officials said that it was unknown whether the patient had contracted Legionnaires’ disease in the community or in the hospital. However, a second patient admitted to the same cardiac unit during the same timeframe was then also diagnosed with the potentially fatal illness. Legionnaires’ disease is not … [Read more...]

Legionnaires’ Outbreak at Meadowbrook Inn & Suites in NC; 3 Sickened

The source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that has infected three guests at Meadowbrook Inn & Suites in Blowing Rock, North Carolina has not yet been identified, according to the Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare). The health department has released a public health advisory to alert visitors to the mountain resort community about this recent outbreak. According to this advisory, the three victims all visited the 62-room hotel, located one block from central Blowing Rock, between April 15 and June 15. Each had stayed at the hotel within the 2- to 10-day incubation period in which Legionella bacteria, once inhaled or aspirated into one’s body, develops into full-blown Legionnaires’ disease. All three people were hospitalized, treated, and are now … [Read more...]

Legionnaires’ Disease Strikes 2 (Possibly 3) Guests at WorldMark Kapa`a Shore Resort

Hawaii’s Department of Health recently released a statement to Hawaii News Now alerting the public that at least two guests at the WorldMark Kapa`a Shore Resort contracted Legionnaires’ disease between late April and early May of this year. The two confirmed cases, according to Hawaii Department of Health spokesperson Janice Okubo, are recovering from the illness in their home states. The health department is still investigating a third possible case.   Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal disease that occurs when people breathe in water vapor or aspirate potable water contaminated with Legionella pneumonia bacteria. Common sources include hotel hot tubs / spas, drinking fountains, architectural water features, cooling towers, and heating / cooling … [Read more...]

New IL Legionnaires Disease Case: Quincy Veteran’s Home Possible Source

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced on Friday that a confirmed case of Legionnaires' Disease has been diagnosed in an Adams County resident. That county is where the Quincy Veteran's Home, which had a Legionnaires' outbreak last fall, is located. That outbreak in August and September 2015, sickened 45 people and killed twelve. Most of those who were sickened lived or worked at the Veteran's Home. The buildings at that facility are old, but officials replaced the water system after that outbreak, and they added a new water treatment facility that provides thermal and chemical treatments to control bacteria. The water systems in older buildings are more likely to harbor legionella bacteria. The bacteria are released into the air through vapor or mist from showers, … [Read more...]

Twelve Now Dead in Flint, MI Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak

A statement that two more people in the Flint area have been added to the death toll of the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak has been released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). That outbreak may be linked to the city's contaminated water supply. Public health officials reviewed hospital data and discovered three more cases; two of those people died. Now 12 people are dead from Legionnaires' Disease in that city in this particular outbreak. Ninety-one confirmed cases of the illness were diagnosed from June 2014 through October 2015, after a city manager appointed by Republican governor Rick Snyder, changed the city's water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River to save money. Residents immediately noticed that the water … [Read more...]

In Flint, Warnings About Legionnaires’ Disease as Warm Weather Approaches

Legionnaires' Disease outbreaks are more common in warm weather, which is bad news for the people in Flint, Michigan. Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement, "to continue the joint efforts to protect the health of residents in the city of Flint, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Wayne State University are working to ensure that residents are aware of the potential for disease spread as the warmer months approach." The Legionnaires' outbreak in Flint, which is in Genesee County, has now claimed 10 lives as of March 18, 2016. At least 88 people have been sickened in this outbreak. Of the 88 confirmed cases, 35% received city of Flint water to their residences. This is important … [Read more...]

Expert Says Flint’s Water “Likely Contributed” to Legionnaires’ Outbreak

According to the Detroit News, an expert for McLaren Regional Medical Center stated that Flint's contaminated water "likely contributed" to the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in Genesee County. The pathogenic bacteria was found in that hospital's water supply, and a "high number" of those diagnosed with the illness (16 of the 45 cases in that county) were patients at the hospital before they got sick. Janet Stout, a research associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering told the paper "the water quality issues, from a microbiological point of view, certainly were a factor in the increase in Legionnaires' Disease in Genesee County." She also said that the legionella bacteria probably entered the hospital via "brown water", delivered by the Flint … [Read more...]

Legionnaires Disease Kills 10 in Flint, Michigan Since Water Change

Ten people have died and 77 others have been sickened by Legionnaires Disease in Flint, Michigan and the the surrounding area since June 2014, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced this week.  The spike in illnesses began two months after the city of Flint changed its water supply to the Flint River in a money-saving move, but health department officials say it's too early to tell if the two are related. One reason health officials say they cannot directly link the cases to the water change in Flint is that they don't have isolates from case patients. “While Legionellosis cases are not uncommon, we are concerned about the increase in cases seen in Genesee County,” said Eden Wells, M.D., chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “We are releasing this report and … [Read more...]

Flint’s Water Supply: Lead and Legionnaires’ Disease

Severe water quality problems in Flint Michigan have caught the eye of consumer advocates and activists around the country. In 2014, the city disconnected the city from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and provided residents with water from the Flint River because it was cheaper. Residents noticed changes in the color, taste, and smell coming out of their taps right away. Testing showed high levels of bacteria, which forced city administrators to issue boil advisories, and to increase the amount of chlorine put into the water. That meant the water also contained high levels of "potentially carcinogenic disinfectant byproducts," according to Food & Water Watch. Because this water was more corrosive, lead leached into Flint's drinking water. And now many residents have lead … [Read more...]

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