According to reports by ABC news and other sources, an elderly woman was admitted to a hospital in Forli, Italy, after suffering from severe respiratory problems and a fever. She died two days later after going into septic shock. Legionella bacteria was discovered in her system, and investigations revealed that during the 2-10 day incubation period for the bacteria, the woman had only left her house twice, for dental appointments. While no Legionella strains were found in her home, a water line at the dentist’s office was discovered to be contaminated with the bacteria.
This is the first known case of Legionnaires’ disease resulting from a contaminated dental water line. It serves as a reminder that to prevent infections from this particular source, dentists must be vigilant in using filters and sterile water sources for procedures. According to the American Dental Association, there are very strict water line standards in the U.S. to prevent the spread of this type of bacteria here.
Updates on this situation will follow as they become available.
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