Jul
30
2014
Share Button

Water birth

Public Health England (PHE) issued advisory warnings in earlier this month following the heated birthing pool recall in June 2014.  Since the recall, a total of 10 pools have been tested after being returned.  Test results are available for six of the 10; four of the six came back positive for Legionella bacteria.

The risks associated with the use of heated birthing pools were published on July 24, 2014 in Eurosurveillance, a European scientific journal.

According to Professor Nick Phin, the head of Legionnaires’ disease at PHE, “These latest results have strengthened already serious concerns about the safety of heated birthing pools in the home setting and the potential for contamination from a number of organisms which are recognized causes of infection, and pose particular risks to new born babies.

“Consequently the PHE recommendation remains that heated birthing pools (incorporating both a re-circulation pump and heater), filled in advance of labour, should not be used for labour or birth at home.

“PHE will review this recommendation if evidence is provided of a safe system for use in the home. However at this point in time, it appears unlikely that hired-out, re-used, heated pools can be made safe to use for labour or birth in the home setting.

“We do not have concerns about purchased or hired pools that are filled from domestic hot water supplies at the onset of labour, provided that any pumps are used solely for pool emptying.”

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:17 pm
Jul
29
2014
Share Button

Taiwan CDC

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Taiwan warned the public to “regularly clean and replace the water filters in their drinking-water dispensers” after finding that two newborns contracted Legionnaires’ disease last year from a water cooler.

According to Chuang Jen-hsiang, Deputy Director-General of the CDC, these cases of infants contracting Legionnaires’ disease from a water cooler are the first of their kind and that the findings of these cases will be published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.

“Both of the newborns resided in central Taiwan and started exhibiting symptoms of pneumonia seven days after their birth. They were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease — a serious type of lung infection — in April and October last year respectively, after their phlegm tested positive for the Legionella bacteria,” Chuang said.

Besides both having contracted Legionnaires’ disease from water coolers, the infant cases are not linked in anyway.  The newborns did not live near each other and were not delivered at the same hospital.

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 6:01 pm
Jul
25
2014
Share Button

erie-times-news-short_0

A man from Erie Pennsylvania is being treated for Legionnaires’ disease at Saint Vincent Hospital.

According to Dr. Paul Newell, an infectious disease expert at the hospital, the man “was admitted with the infection” and the illness “was acquired in the community.”

This is the fourth confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease in Erie County in 2014 and does not appear to be a part of an outbreak, according to Charlotte Berringer, a nurse and director of community health for the county health department.

“It’s not an unusual number of cases for this point in the year,” Berringer said. “There doesn’t seem to be anything unusual about this case.”

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 4:38 pm
Jul
24
2014
Share Button

Legionella bacteria

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.

To read more about this story, please click here.

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

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.

To read more about this story, please click here.

 

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:59 pm
Jul
22
2014
Share Button

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.”

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:47 pm
Jul
18
2014
Share Button

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.”

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:01 pm
Jul
16
2014
Share Button

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.”

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 4:56 pm
Jul
10
2014
Share Button

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.

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:55 pm
Jul
09
2014
Share Button

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.”

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:56 pm