The Health Protection Surveillance Center in Ireland and NHS England in the UK are temporarily advising against the use of home birthing pools after an infant contracted Legionnaires’ disease and died after water birth.
Test results are pending on whether or not the strain of Legionella bacteria found in the birthing pool matches the strain found in the infant.
The health alert recommends against using birthing pools filled before labor and maintained by a heater and pump. Most home birthing pools, which are filled in the home from domestic hot water systems during labor, do not pose the same risk as pools that are filled early.
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