A sixth resident of the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community has been confirmed dead as a result of a Legionnaires’ outbreak at the facility, according to WOSU News, following the fifth death reported last week. The death was from a previously confirmed infection. This brings the total number sick to 39.
Legionella was found in the cooling tower at Wesley Ridge, and the tower was closed on July 19th. Mitzi Kline, Franklin County Public Health spokeswoman, said the number of new cases reported is expected to plateau. The incubation period for Legionnaires’ Disease is up to 14 days, so residents could continue to get sick until two weeks after all preventative measures were taken – Kline claims that window has passed, so new cases should not be forthcoming.
Retirement homes are susceptible to outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease such as this one. Oftentimes retirement homes are large buildings with complex water systems that provide opportunities for Legionella to propagate. Also, retirement homes’ populations can be at risk for developing Legionellosis; elderly people and those with immune system deficiencies fit the profile of typical Legionnaires’ patients.