The University of Washington Medical Center began the remediation process following the Legionnaires’ disease diagnoses of four patients treated at their facility. Two of these patients have since passed. However, while the facility believed that their efforts had eliminated the bacteria, on Monday, September 26, 2016, officials announced a fifth case of Legionnaires’ disease associated with the facility.
UW Medical Center implemented the use of filters and flushed their water system with chlorine on September 19th and 20th. These efforts were believed to have abolished Legionella bacteria from the Cascade Tower, which was thought to be the cause of the outbreak. While the fifth diagnosed patient was present at the facility prior to the remediation process, the patient returned on September 20th when the facility’s water system was believed to be void of Legionella. This new diagnosis suggests that perhaps the bacteria were not completely eliminated through the remediation process, and that Legionella may still be present within the facility.
The facility is now awaiting the results of new tests performed on its Cascade Tower, and has not yet responded as to whether or not water restrictions will again be in place throughout the facility.
Likewise, a patient at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, stated officials on Monday, September 26th. This case appears to be unrelated to the UW Medical Center cases, with the only commonality being that the patients are all believed to have been exposed to Legionella while seeking medical attention for other conditions.
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Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com for updates to this post or for more information on Legionnaires’ disease.