According to a newly released VA document, a former infection prevention official had warned the Department of Veterans Affairs about Legionella problems in Pittsburgh a year and a half before the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease occurred.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, authorized the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s detection procedure in August 2009 and so the review by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was closed.
“No further work was appropriate by the OIG since the CDC is recognized as the expert in this area, and they certified the facility as having the expertise,” said Catherine Gromek, an Inspector General spokeswoman.
However, 18 months later, an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease occurred causing 16 illnesses and 6 deaths.
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