Low, but detectable levels of Legionella have been found in the water at the West Haven Veterans Affairs medical center campus in Connecticut. This discovery was made during routine testing and it appears that bacteria presence was limited to five faucets in one building.
According to a statement released by the VA, “there have been no definitive reports of healthcare-associated illnesses related to Legionella bacterium at VA Connecticut Healthcare System” in the past two decades, and that there are currently “no definite reports” of illness related to this finding. The VA further states that none of the building’s occupants (employees or patients) are at immediate risk for Legionella.
The fact that there are no national or state standards for Legionella testing in medical facilities is a contributing factor to the water maintenance issues. However, the proposed ASHRAE Standard 188, a guideline for facilities managers, will hopefully serve as a stepping stone toward establishing a firm standard for water systems in large facilities.
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