The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System has extended water restrictions due to the discovery of Legionella bacteria at its University Drive location. In late January water restrictions were enacted to kill the bacteria in Building 1. Those restrictions have been extended to ensure the water supply has time to sanitize while the sample testing is being repeated.
A patient of the Pittsburgh VA was diagnosed with Legionella pneumonia in February and has since been treated. The patient had visited the campus during the 10 day onset of the illness as an outpatient.
“At this time, evidence suggests the patient contracted Legionella pneumonia in the community. The type of Legionella bacteria that caused the illness has not been detected at the University Drive location in nearly two years despite the sampling of almost 4,000 fixtures during that time and is not the type that caused the current water restrictions in Building 1,” the news release stated.
Dr. Cornelius Clancy, chief of infectious diseases at VA Pittsburgh says, “We have no evidence that she got (Legionella) from the water here. We actually have ID’d the specific type of Legionella that’s causing Legionella through the sample we got.” Clancy states that the particular bacteria has not been found in the VA’s water in two years.
The water in the building, Building 29, where the patient visited as an outpatient has undergone water sample testing. To date no samples have yet returned positive for the type of Legionella that causes the illness.
The water restrictions went into effect after samples from five sinks in a vacant administrative unit under renovation returned positive on Jan. 6. On Jan. 15, samples from two adjacent sinks returned positive. On Jan. 25, samples from two sinks in an outpatient clinic and one sample from a supply line returned positive, and on Jan. 27, two additional samples from another supply line returned positive.
“The restrictions include no use of the facility’s water supply for ice, drinking, hand-washing, showering or bathing. We continue to have available hand-washing stations and supply the affected areas with bagged ice, bottled water and bag baths for bathing,” the news release stated.
Further reading can be found here:http://www.wpxi.com/news/pittsburgh-va-extends-water-restrictions-at-oakland-facility-due-to-legionella/494508544
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.