The Allegheny Health Department in Pennsylvania is beginning to put together a task-force to set up guidelines giving directions to at-risk facilities in terms of combating Legionella, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Following the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs hospitals and the alleged cover-up and mishandling of the cases, these actions aim to prevent future outbreaks in the region. The task-force will eventually inform hospitals, nursing homes, and other buildings via guidelines for how to best prevent the propagation of Legionella bacteria. These types of facilities house populations that are most at risk for developing Legionnaires’ disease, which affects the elderly and those with weakened immune systems at a much higher rate than that at which it affects the general population. At this early stage, the task force is being formulated and the guidelines themselves have not been created or released. It will be interesting to see the final result and whether guidelines such as these will serve as a model for other regions wishing to adopt standards to help prevent Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates on this story.