There are currently six cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with the Integrated Health Campus, a South Whitehall township outpatient facility. Pennsylvania State Health Officials are asking physicians to pay close attention to patients with pneumonia-like symptoms.
The Integrated Health Campus is located at 240 and 250 Cetronia Road and consists of a multiple offices. According to Kenneth Szydlow, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at St. Luke’s University health Network, the 240 building is no longer implicated for the disease. The investigation is instead focusing on the 250 building and, more specifically, a decorative fountain in the lobby of the building.
According to St. Luke’s infectious disease specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, all six cases are connected to the 250 building of the Integrated Health Campus and also that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has cleared the campus to continue to remain open for business.
Integrated Health Campus hired Legionella Risk Management Inc., located in Bucks County, to investigate and remediate the campus water systems. The fountain in the lobby of the 250 building, suspected for the Legionnaires’ disease cases, as well as another fountain outside the lobby have been drained and turned off. Water samples taken from the fountain are still pending test results.
The Pennsylvania Health Department is conducting its own investigation on took water samples on Friday, Oct. 25.
Contracting Legionnaires’ disease through a fountain is not the most common method of infection; however, decorative fountains have been known to cause outbreaks in the past. Please see the article, Rarer sources of Legionella infection, to read more about less common modes of infection.