Earlier this week at the 64th Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference hosted by the CDC, Louise Francois Watkins discussed a study that was done regarding a Legionnaires’ disease (LD) outbreak in the Inpatient Hematology-Oncology Unit at a hospital in Alabama.
The patients in this unit are immunocompromised cancer patients and therefore more susceptible to infection by Legionella bacteria. During the outbreak that occurred in May 2014, 10 cases (nine inpatients and one visitor) were identified.
The study concluded that the outbreak source likely came from an uncommon Legionella pneumophila 1 strain ST36, which was found in the hospital’s potable water system and suggests that “clinicians caring for immunocompromised patients should maintain a high index of suspicion for healthcare-associated LD.” The study also indicated that “strict water restriction precautions were effective and should be considered in LD outbreak settings involving immunocompromised patients.”
For the full abstract of Healthcare-Associated Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease on an Inpatient Hematology-Oncology Unit-Alabama, 2014, please click here.
The 2015 EIS Conference runs from April 20-23 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia in Georgia. More details on this conference can be found here.