Jul
24
2014
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The Forsyth County Health Department in North Carolina is still working with the staff at Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation in an investigation regarding the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that began earlier this month.

According to a press release, no new cases have been identified and the total count remains at six affected persons.  All six are either recovering or have fully recovered from their illness.

Testing is ongoing to monitor the Legionella bacteria levels in the facility.

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:53 pm
Jul
23
2014
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China1

A 77-year-old man in China was reported to have simultaneous infections of two different types of Legionella bacteria, serogroup 5 and serogroup 10, contributing to his Legionnaires’ disease.

This report is highly unusual since most reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease involve Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1.

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:59 pm
Jul
22
2014
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CDC-logo

A recent article in Forbes discusses the CDC’s response to Legionnaires’ disease as a reactive rather than proactive.  “This approach causes thousands of preventable infections each year.”

It goes on to say that although Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks are not uncommon, they do not receive much attention, and sporadic cases are hardly ever thoroughly investigated.

Dr. J. Donald Millar, the former Assistant U.S. Surgeon General, had previously successfully used disease surveillance approach to eradicate smallpox, and has been a long-time critic of the CDC’s handling of Legionnaires’ disease.

Although countless others are of Dr. Millar’s opinion, the CDC’s practices have not changed.

The CDC discourages environmental testing until after an outbreak occurs (two or more confirmed cases) and “in effect uses people as ‘canaries in the coal mine’ to detect high-risk water sources.”

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:47 pm
Jul
18
2014
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UPMC Presbyterian

11 patients in a unit at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital have been moved after potentially deadly Legionella bacteria were found in multiple sinks in the pulmonary medicine unit.

According to the hospital, there have been no confirmed cased of Legionnaires disease associated with the finding of Legionella.

A statement released by UPMC said “it is not uncommon for Legionella bacteria to appear in water sources in hospitals or any other facility.  That’s why we continuously follow rigorous monitoring and prevention measures to ensure the safety of our patients.”

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:01 pm
Jul
16
2014
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UPMC Presbyterian

Potentially deadly Legionella bacteria have been found for the second time in a three-month timespan at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.

The bacteria were first found in early May in ice machines at the hospital which led to three patients becoming ill with Legionnaires’ disease; one of these patients ultimately died.

Trib Live reported yesterday that the bacteria have been found once again, but this time in the sinks of three different patient rooms.

The Legionella contamination was pinpointed to the pulmonary medicine unit in the hospital, which holds patients especially vulnerable to Legionnaires’ disease due to their pre-existing lung disease.  The pulmonary medicine unit was recently remodeled and Legionella bacteria were found during routine water testing at reopening.

Tami Minnier, chief quality officer at UPMC, does not seem to think that the finding is a major problem and said “When you go and look for something really aggressively and you monitor it, and you track it, you find it.  The most important thing is that when you find it, you remediate it.  It does not mean that anything is wrong.”

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 4:56 pm
Jul
10
2014
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wilson-pines-sign-e1395406917551-300x178

According to Wilson medical Center officials, despite two facility outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, there has been no increase in pneumonia cases.

Julie Hernandez, the hospital’s infection prevention coordinator said, “We are seeing our typical rates of pneumonia for this time of the year.”

Wilson Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the Longleaf-Neuro Medical Treatment Center have recently experienced outbreaks of eight and three cases respectively.  As of Tuesday, July 8, there have been no additional cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported in Wilson County.

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:55 pm
Jul
09
2014
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Dartmouth Police trailer

Police officers in Dartmouth, Mass. have been working out of portable trailers in the police station’s parking lot since March 2014 due to the finding of Legionella at the station.  Now, it seems that they may need to continue working out of trailers for months more.

The police station was shut down in March after one officer fell ill with Legionnaires’ disease.

Currently, there are approximately 80 officers and employees working out of six trailers.

“Everybody has adjusted really well to it,” said Dartmouth Police Detective Kyle Costa.  “We are still working out of the mobile units and we don’t know when we will be going to be back in the station, but it’s not going to be anytime soon.”

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:56 pm
Jul
08
2014
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Water birth

The Health Protection Surveillance Center in Ireland and NHS England in the UK are temporarily advising against the use of home birthing pools after an infant contracted Legionnaires’ disease and died after water birth.

Test results are pending on whether or not the strain of Legionella bacteria found in the birthing pool matches the strain found in the infant.

The health alert recommends against using birthing pools filled before labor and maintained by a heater and pump.  Most home birthing pools, which are filled in the home from domestic hot water systems during labor, do not pose the same risk as pools that are filled early.

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:48 pm
Jul
03
2014
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Oak Forest Home and Rehab

Three cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been linked to Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  The source of Legionella, bacteria-causing disease, has not yet been found.  The water system at the assisted living facility is currently undergoing testing.

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 4:56 pm
Jul
02
2014
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Wilson County Health Dept

The count of confirmed Legionnaires’ disease has risen to eleven cases in Wilson County, North Carolina.  Seven of these confirmed cases are associated with Wilson Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wilson County, two of whom were visitors.  Three cases are linked to Longleaf Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.

There are other recent cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Wilson County that are not linked to either the nursing home or the neuro-medical center which have recently had multiple cases linked to their facilities.

According to the Wilson Times, “Wilson County reported 11 cases last year.  There were 90 cases in the state last year.”

The CDC is working with state officials to investigate the outbreak in Wilson County.

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Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:07 am