Hospital officials, with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have conducted an investigation and reportedly discovered elevated levels of the bacteria that cause the illness in the hospital’s water system. Employees and patients were instructed to not use the hospital’s water fountains, sinks, and showers.
Legionnaires' disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. Between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease in the U.S. each year. The actual number of infections may be much higher as many cases are likely misdiagnosed or not properly reported.
“Legionnaires' disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 5% to 30% of cases,” reported Susan White, Ph.D., CMC, President of Sussex Environmental Health Consultants (SEHC), a leading Mid-Atlantic indoor air quality (IAQ) and infection control consulting firm. “The bacteria grow well in warm water, similar to what may be found in hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, and even air-conditioning systems of large buildings. Healthy people usually recover from the illness, but when an outbreak occurs in a hospital that may have people with weakened immune systems it makes the situation that much more serious.”
SEHC provides proactive testing for Legionella to help prevent outbreaks of the disease. If an outbreak has occurred, SEHC’s testing services can help pinpoint sources of the potentially deadly pathogen to prevent further illnesses. An online video about Legionnaire’
To learn more about preventing and detecting infectious microbial pathogens, or other environmental and IAQ issues, please visit http://www.sussexenvironmental.com, email susan.white@
About Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC
SEHC is a certified woman owned business that provides environmental and health and safety consulting services. The company is located in the Mid-Atlantic and services customers nationwide. SEHC provides solutions to clients ranging from homeowners to international Fortune 500 Corporations.