May
22
2017
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Samaritan Medical Center had its water retested on May 15, 2017 after the legionella bacteria was in found in the hospital’s water systems.

The hospital originally reported that it expected testing results to be returned by the following Friday; however, Spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle says that the testing will not be completing on the samples for at least another 10 days.

For more information, click here

 

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 3:28 pm
May
18
2017
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(Photo: Google Maps)

Two adults who used a community pool and spa in Foothill Ranch, California were hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease over the past two months.

The pool and spa were closed on May 12, 2017, and Orange County Health Officials have reported that water testing results are pending to determine whether or not the community pool/spa was the source of the Legionella bacteria that caused these two individuals to become ill.

The Orange County Health Care Agency said in a letter on May 12, 2017, that legionellosis occurs when people breathe in mist or vapor that has been contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. Symptoms typically develop within 2-10 days of exposure to the bacteria, and can include high fever, chills, cough. muscle aches, and headaches.

The results of the water testing performed can take up to two weeks. The facility advised that if the results should turn up positive for Legionella, they will continue to retest the water until negative results are achieved.

The pool and spa remain closed pending these testing results, and Foothill Ranch Maintenance Corporation hopes the facility will be reopened by Memorial Day weekend.

More information is available here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:06 am
May
17
2017
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Samples taken from the water system at Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, New York tested positive for low levels of Legionella on May 8, 2017.

The Legionella was found in the Pratt building, which is the oldest part of the hospital. It is believed that the infrequently used faucets, old pipes, and recent construction in this part of the facility may be the cause of the contaminated water. Spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle has stated that the facility has since replaced the valves and begun to flush the water lines daily.

Legionella bacteria can cause respiratory illnesses such as Legionellosis and Legionnaires’ disease, a bacterial type of pneumonia.

No cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported to be associated with the facility since the discovery of the bacteria, and the water was retested on Monday, May 15, 2017, to determine if the remediation measures taken by the facility have since resolved the issue.

More information is available here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 12:12 pm
May
12
2017
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On Monday, May 8th Samaritan Medical Center, in Watertown, NY, reported that it had found legionella bacteria in the hospital’s water system while conducting quarterly water quality tests. The spokesperson for Samaritan Medical Center stated that the levels of legionella bacteria were low and that the remediation of the hospital’s water system would be conducted by the next day. As of now there have been no cases of Legionnaires’ Disease reported by the Jefferson County Department of Health or Samaritan Medical Center.

More information about the discovery of legionella bacteria can be found 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 1:35 pm
May
11
2017
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A team of researchers from the fields of both public health and environmental engineering has released some findings from an 18 month long investigation into the outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in Flint. The Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership conducted random water sampling of Genesee County households in the Fall of 2016. The team found legionella bacteria in 12% of the 200 tested households, which according to the researchers is what is considered to be a normal amount nationwide. The team found 18 different isolates of Legionella pneumophila. The most common serogroup found by the researchers, by far, was legionella pneumophila serogroup 6. The prevalence of serogroup 6, versus serogroup 1,  presents problems for diagnostic testing. This is because serogroup 6 can only be detected through sputum samples, which take longer and are considered to be less accurate than the urine test that is only available for serogroup 1. This, the researchers believe, could result in under-diagnosing and under-reporting of Legionnaires’ Disease cases.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:55 am
May
10
2017
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  1. According to the World Health Organization, males are three times more likely to acquire Legionnaires’ Disease than women. (source)
  2. As of now, there is no vaccine for Legionnaires’ Disease. The most common form of treatment is typically antibiotics.
  3. 75% of reported Legionnaires’ Disease cases are aged 50 years and older. (source)
  4. Legionnaires’ Disease is most likely to occur in the summer months. This is because legionella bacteria thrives in warmer water. (source)
  5. While Legionnaires’ Disease is typically transmitted by aerosolized water droplets, there have been numerous outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease that have been caused by legionella bacteria found in potting soil.
  6. While there is over 40 species of Legionella bacteria, and multiple strains thereof, 90% of all Legionnaires Disease cases are caused by only one species: legionella pneumophila. (source)
  7. It is estimated that anywhere between 5 and 10% of the American population has been exposed to legionella bacteria. (source)
Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 12:33 pm
May
09
2017
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An apartment complex for seniors in Reynoldsburg, Ohio has been found to contain legionella bacteria. The residents, numbering around one hundred, have been advised by the Franklin County Health Department to not shower or use tap water at the complex. The legionella bacteria was found as part of a Health Department investigation focusing on the apartment complex. The investigation was initiated as a result of five residents acquiring Legionnaires’ Disease in the past year. The complex is now undergoing flushing and remediation of its water system. So far there has been no confirmed exact source of the legionella bacteria. The Health Department’s outbreak investigation has been ongoing since January.

More about the situation can be read about here and 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 11:10 am
May
08
2017
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According to a CDC report based on 27 different outbreaks investigated by the CDC from 2000-2014, released last year, found that hotels and resorts are the most common source of Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks in the United States. Hotels and resorts were 25 percentage points ahead of long term care facilities and other health care related facilities. Senior living facilities, workplace, and community-associated outbreaks were each found to be responsible for 7% of Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks. Travel associated outbreaks (hotels and resorts) were found to be the most common source of outbreaks but were also found to have the lowest median fatality rate at 0%. In comparison, hospital associated Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks had a median fatality rate of 24%. A graph, created by the Wall Street Journal, detailing the findings of the report can be found down below. The related article can be found 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 11:44 am
May
05
2017
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According to data from the CDC, the number of deaths caused by Legionnaires’ Disease has just about tripled over the past two decades. In 2002 there was 63 deaths directly attributed to Legionnaires’ Disease.  The CDC reported 170 deaths caused by Legionnaires’ Disease in 2015, the most recent year that was analyzed. When Legionnaires’ Disease is taken into account as a contributing factor to death, the number of deaths in 2015 increases to 217. Legionnaires’ Disease is the underlying cause of death in 78.3% of fatalities associated with the disease. The data also shows that the mortality rate for Legionnaires’ Disease has increased by 89.2% from 1999-2015.

The sharp increase in deaths is associated with the rise of Legionnaires’ Disease cases in the country. The number of cases recorded by the CDC has increased from 1,100 cases in 2000 to 6,079 cases in 2016. In 2016, the CDC released an article in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report entitled, Legionnaires Disease on Rise in USin order to detail and present possible explanations for the rise in cases. The article lists  higher rates of diagnoses due to technological advances as one of the main possible reasons for the spike. Among others, America’s aging population, an increase in use of immunocompromising medications, America’s aging infrastructure, and climate change as possible explanations.

 

A chart detailing the rise of Legionnaires’-related deaths has been included in this post. More information and interactive charts about Legionnaires’ Disease can be found 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 11:28 am
May
04
2017
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On Wednesday, six plaintiffs, represented by Mr. Zacher, have been awarded a total of $1,100,000.00 as a result of acquiring Legionnaires’ Disease at Integrated Health Campus, an Allentown medical office complex.

More info regarding the case can be found here and here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 5:07 pm