Nearly a month ago, we posted about the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas and its recent outbreak incident. Now, as of this past Tuesday, the Brooke Army Medical Center is stating that they have identified the probable source of the Legionella bacteria and even went so far as to confirm for the first time the three patients who had developed Legionnaire’s disease since last August.
The Legionella bacteria’s likely source turned out to be a water heater within an abandoned building next to the main hospital. All Brooke Army Medical Center personnel were moved out of the building earlier last month, on Feb. 6, and according to officials, the building remains vacant. Initially, when Legionella bacteria was first identified in two patients last August, the Brooke Army Medical Center conducted extensive testing however no source for the Legionella was found. Since then, the Medical Center officials have confirmed a new Legionella infection during February but stated at the time that none of the cases since August had developed into Legionnaire’s disease.
As such, for the hospital to now come out and confirm that all three patients had Legionnaires’ disease is truly extraordinary. According to Brooke Army Medical Center’s deputy commanding officer Col. Traci Crawford, “We have been conducting extensive testing in and around Building 15 to determine the source of the Legionella bacteria,” adding that “(E)nsuring the health and safety of our patients and staff are paramount.”
According to Col. Traci Crawford, the Brooke Army Medical Center is “fully cooperating with local and regional public health officials to ensure there is no further risk for exposure moving forward,”. We hope they can ensure there is no further risk for exposure moving forward as well.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.