September 20, 2019

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...]

Illinois Veterans Home Replaces Water System after Legionnaires Outbreak

The Illinois Veterans Home, where a deadly Legionnaires' outbreak killed 12 people is replacing its water system and making repairs. Last August and September, at least 45 people living at that facility were sickened and 12 people died after contracting the illness. Legionnaires' Disease bacteria, also called Legionella, lives and grows in water systems, especially in older buildings. The bacteria is hard to kill and can thrive for years in a system until an outbreak occurs. The bacteria is released in vapor or mist from showers, fountains, air conditioning units, cooling towers, HVAC units, hot tubs, and other water systems. When people, especially those in high risk groups, breathe in the vapor, they can get sick. Anyone who is over the age of 50, who has underlying health problems … [Read more...]

Legionnaires Outbreak at Best Western in Hannibal, Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services states that a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak occurred at the Best Western on the River Hotel in Hannibal. Three people staying at that hotel over the past eight months contracted the illness, and one person died. The popular hotel was shut down in November when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took samples. Four rooms tested positive for the Legionella bacteria. Officials do not know what caused the outbreak. The hotel is in two parts. One is brand new, and the other is older. Older buildings can be problematic for Legionella bacteria. The older structure is still closed. The Legionella bacteria lives in water systems, such as plumbing, heating and cooling systems, cooling towers, hot tubs, shower heads, … [Read more...]

Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY

A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse New York has sickened at least two people. While the President and CEO of that facility, Kathryn Ruscitto, has issued statements about the bacteria being found in the hospital's water supply, no official reports have been released acknowledging the outbreak except indirectly. The announcements have not mentioned the illnesses and officials have allegedly denied that there is an outbreak. Governor Cuomo issued a statement on October 25, 2015 announcing that an investigation is being launched after Legionella bacteria were found at the hospital, but that bulletin did not mention any illnesses either. An outbreak is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as two or more persons who are not … [Read more...]

San Quentin Legionnaires’ Outbreak Traced to Cooling Towers

A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at the San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California was caused by contaminated cooling towers. The report was filed by J. Clark Kelso, the federally appointed receiver who is responsible for the California prison's medical system. Thirteen inmates were diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease, and more than 80 others were diagnosed with pneumonia. Some of the staff were also sickened, and there are twelve cases of staff members' illness that are currently being investigated. The report states that "Later water tests of environmental samples revealed that the water in two of the cooling towers at the top of the Central Health Services Building had high concentrations of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, which is the most common cause of … [Read more...]

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