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According to the New Zealand Doctor, Rhoda Read, a continuing care facility and primary birthing unit in Morrinsville, New Zealand, closed recently due to a positive test that indicated the presence of Legionella.  Waikato District Health Board (DHB) took immediate steps to reduce health risks to patients and staff after the bacteria was found in a showerhead at the facility.

Following the advice of the Medical Officer of Health and Infection Control staff, contractors disinfected all showerheads in the birthing unit as well as other showerheads in the nearby continuing care facility.  Further, a copper/silver ionization hot water treatment system was installed in the birthing unit mid-July.  Retesting is underway to ensure Legionella is no longer present at the facility.  In the meantime, women in the birthing unit will be able to shower at the adjacent continuing care facility, which was unaffected by the situation.  Waikato DHB will also be contacting women who were in the maternity unit since July 22 to notify them of the situation.

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