Dec
02
2016
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antimicrobial-cooling-tower

 

Delta Cooling Towers, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of cooling towers, has unveiled a product that they hope will prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria. The cooling towers are made of an anti-microbial resin that has been treated with additives to prevent the growth of microorganisms. The plastic towers are also less affected by water treatments than metal towers–corrosive treatments in metal towers can release nutrients that feed  Legionella bacteria.

 John Flaherty, president of Delta Cooling Towers, mentioned in a statement that this innovation is only one part of the process of safe water management. Competent and consistent maintenance of cooling towers is essential to eliminate the risk of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 2:48 pm
Nov
30
2016
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The Ohio Department of Health, in collaboration with the Lake County General Health district, has confirmed the cooling tower of a local business as the source of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. The outbreak, which began in July, seems to have had several sources, and the cooling tower has been linked to at least three of the ten cases.

Health officials announced that an environmental assessment at Consolidated Precision Products, a business in Eastlake, revealed the presence of Legionella bacteria on November 16, 2016. At least three cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in September among individuals who had spent time in the Eastlake area.

After the initial sampling, the cooling tower was sanitized. Tests on samples taken after the sanitization process revealed no Legionella, and health officials have now declared the cooling tower no longer a risk to public health.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 3:42 pm
Nov
28
2016
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Residents of an assisted living facility on Staten Island have been informed of a single case of Legionnaires’ disease on the premises. The unidentified patient is a resident of The Brielle at Seaview, a non-profit assisted living community, and has been discharged from care. No further information about the patient has been released.

The notification is part of a city-wide plan implemented after last year’s Bronx outbreaks. Part of the newly instituted plan involves notifying facilities with high-risk populations when one or more cases are reported. The Brielle, with its aging population, falls into this category, though health officials noted that the case is only one of the 200-400 cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported in the city every year.

Health officials are now testing the water at the facility, and property managers are installing new showerheads that will filter out Legionella bacteria. There is no cooling tower at the facility, but residents have been advised to take baths instead of showers and to avoid creating mist while using the water. No other residents have been diagnosed.

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is meeting with property managers and will continue to provide the public with more information.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 3:11 pm
Nov
22
2016
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An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in upstate New York continues to grow. A fifth case has now been confirmed in Plattsburgh, NY.

All of the patients live in the same apartment complex on the west side of the city, and officials have notified other residents of the complex about the outbreak. The first four cases were identified in October. The patients have been treated at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital; the first four patients have been discharged, and the final patient remains at the hospital in stable condition.

The Clinton County Health Department has been collecting water samples from the apartment building in an effort to locate the source of the Legionella bacteria. So far, focus has been on the showers and faucets in the apartment complex, but officials plan to expand their investigation if no bacteria is found during this round of testing.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 11:46 am
Nov
21
2016
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SCI Pittsburgh

On September 1, 2016, State Correctional Institution (“SCI”) – Pittsburgh announced the presence of Legionella within its facility. However, the facility tested positive for Legionella as early as May of this year.

SCI-Pittburgh’s medical director, Joseph Mollura (60) died of complications resulting from Legionella pneumonia on August 8, 2016. However, a May 12, 2016 report regarding testing performed at the prison on May 4, 2016 revealed that the cooling tower known as “No. 1,” which served the prison’s medical department, was found positive for Legionella. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that any cooling tower that has 100 cfu/ml or more of bacteria undergo a cleaning and biocide treatment. The levels found within the cooling tower at the prison were reported to be 430 cfu/ml of Legionella bacteria.

An August 12, 2016 report regarding the cooling tower indicated that it had been cleaned; however, an E-mail dated September 1, 2016 by Robert McSurdy- Chief of the Department’s Safety and Environmental Protection Division- stated the opposite. McSurdy wrote that the original report regarding the cooling tower being cleaned was inaccurate, and that a super chlorination was to occur in order to eliminate the Legionella growing within the cooling tower. The sample taken from the cooling tower on August 16, 2016 showed that cooling tower No. 1 had concentrations of 100 cfu/ml of the bacteria most commonly responsible for Legionnaires’ disease.

The Mollura family has retained counsel to investigate the prison’s method of remediation of the bacteria. It is unclear at this time who at the facility may have been responsible for the cooling tower’s maintenance.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:00 pm
Nov
18
2016
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A 54-year-old Cuyahoga County gentleman has died, and 10 more members of the Lake County community were sickened with Legionnaires’ disease. The cooling towers at Consolidated Precision Products (“CPP”) in Eastlake, Ohio were investigated this past October as possible sources of the bacteria after knowledge that between the months of July and September, one employee of CPP and two employees of neighboring companies became ill with the disease.

Inspectors say that during the testing, one of the cooling towers at CPP tested positive for Legionella bacteria. Subsequently, the company released a statement that the facility’s production and cooling water systems- including the cooling towers- were cleaned and disinfected by an experienced industrial water treatment company in accordance with recommendations and protocols from the Ohio Department of Health. Their post-cleaning test results, which were released November 16, were void of Legionella bacteria.

It is only believed that up to 5 of the cases in Eastlake may be a result of the Legionella found in CPP’s cooling tower. The other 6 cases appear to be unrelated, but according to Lake County Health Commissioner Ron Graham, it is not certain because none of the patients were given blood tests to determine the specific strand of the bacteria that may have caused their illness.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 9:57 am
Nov
17
2016
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Platinum Ridge Center for Rehabilitation & Healing, located at 1050 Broadview Boulevard in Brackenridge, PA

Earlier this month, the Platinum Ridge Center for Rehabilitation & Healing was notified by the Allegheny County Health Department about a case of Legionnaires’ disease among an individual associated with their facility.

Melissa Wade, spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Health Department, indicated that the water at Platinum Ridge has since tested positive for Legionella bacteria which causes Legionnaires’ disease. However, Wade was unable to provide when the patient associated with the facility was diagnosed with the disease. The facility has been taking precautions such as providing bottled water to it’s residents until the water supply is rid of Legionella.

Platinum Ridge, located at 1050 Broadview Blvd, is one of three facilities in Western Pennsylvania owned by CareRite Centers LLC of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Hillary Butts, the administrator in Brackenridge, notified residents and staff of the issue in an undated letter stating that testing of the facility’s water was performed on November 4, 2016.

Allegheny County has had far more cases of Legionnaires’ disease per 100,000 residents than the national average- with 77 diagnosed cases in the county as of November 12, 2016, in comparison to 63 in total for the year 2015.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:26 am
Nov
16
2016
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Street view of 1600 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx, NY

Street view of 1600 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx, NY

On Monday night, tenants of 1600 Sedgwick Ave in Morris Heights came home to a letter from the New York City Department of Health, notifying them that two tenants of the building had tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease.

The two cases of Legionnaires’ disease were diagnosed about 12 months apart from each other. The New York City Department of Health held a meeting at the Sedgwick Ave building Monday night, and indicated that they are in the process of testing the building’s water supply as a possible source of the Legionella bacteria that caused these two cases. In the meantime, they have advised tenants of the building to reduce exposure to water vapor by taking baths (as opposed to showers) and to avoid cooking with hot water.

The Aspen Management Company that runs the building has indicated that they were notified of the cases of Legionnaires’ disease at the same time the tenants were, and that they will follow the recommendations of the New York City Department of Health.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:34 am
Nov
15
2016
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Three members of one family have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease in upstate New York. The three cases were not geographically linked and did not begin at the same time. Niagara officials have yet to determine the possible sources of the bacteria, but investigation is ongoing.

Richard Jepson, 68, was a resident of Lockport, NY. He had been undergoing treatment for cancer but was hospitalized briefly with Legionnaires’ disease in July before passing away at the Buffalo General Hospital on July 22, 2016.

Six weeks after Mr. Jepson’s death, his stepdaughter Debra Trammell, 50, and his ex-wife Patricia Lord, 70, were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. Ms. Trammell had recently relocated to Newfane, in upstate New York, from Georgia. Ms. Lord lives in Hartland.

The three towns are situated within a 10-mile radius of one another but no common source of the bacteria has yet been identified. The three patients did not visit frequently and had few possible exposures in common. Investigators initially suspected that a hospital cooling tower near Mr. Jepson’s residence could be the source of the bacteria, but this would not explain how Ms. Lord and Ms. Trammell were exposed. The investigation is ongoing.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:48 pm
Nov
08
2016
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A resident of a county-run nursing home in Pennsylvania was diagnosed on October 24 with Legionnaires’ disease, and officials believe she contracted it from her residence. McKeesport Regional Care Center, where the woman lives, has taken measures to guard against the possibility of further cases.

The woman was hospitalized and diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease at UPMC McKeesport. After being informed of the case, management at McKeesport RCC distributed bottled water and put the water system at the nursing home out of commission. They also sent a letter informing patients and their families about the diagnosis. Management also sampled water from 20 locations throughout the building.

12 of the water samples tested were positive for Legionella bacteria. McKeesport RCC management has now installed a copper-silver ionization disinfection system, which they hope will eliminate Legionella from the water. Other county-run nursing homes in the area have now chosen to install similar systems. Up to 10 other patients who have presented with respiratory issues also underwent testing for Legionnaires’ disease; eight of these results were negative, and two are pending.

More information is available here.

Update: A previous version of this post erroneously stated that the patient resided at UPMC McKeesport. The patient was treated at UPMC McKeesport, but was a resident of McKeesport Regional Care Center. 

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 12:49 pm