Shari Rudavsky, a reporter at the Indianapolis Star, reached out to us recently to discuss Legionnaires’ disease. Please see below for the article.
Legionnaires’ limits water use at IU Health hospitals
Patients at IU Health’s University Hospital and Simon Cancer Center have been told to drink bottled water and not bathe or shower with tap water after two patients at the Downtown hospital tested positive for Legionnaire’s disease.
The restrictions came after additional samples of water tested positive for Legionella bacteria, the germ that causes the potentially deadly illness.
IU Health officials went room to room late Thursday explaining the decision to limit water consumption for patients, many of whom have compromised immune systems and are susceptible to the disease.
“We felt that it was a precautionary move that we should make,” said Dr. Douglas Webb, medical director for infection control of Indiana University Health.
IU Health continues to investigate how water at University Hospital became infected. Legionella bacteria resides in water and is often contracted through aerosol spray, such as a shower, air conditioner or fountain.
The restrictions will stay in place until tests “verify that the water has been adequately treated and is safe to use,” Webb said.
Earlier this week, IU Health officials announced that two patients, both with compromised immune systems, had tested positive within the past month for Legionnaire’s disease and had died. Webb declined to give specific dates for the deaths.
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