SEVEN DIAGNOSED WITH LEGIONNAIRES’ AT NEW OHIO HOSPITAL
Officials scrambling to disinfect area, find source
Seven patients have been diagnosed with the deadly Legionnaires’ disease at an Ohio hospital that’s been open just over a month, according to reports.
Health officials have begun to disinfect the building’s water lines to stop the spread and are scrambling to identify the source of the bacteria, according to a Friday statement from Dr. Amy Acton, director of Ohio’s Department of Health.
“To protect patients, employees, and visitors, we have acted swiftly today after my team discovered a connection between three confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in former patients at Mount Carmel Grove City,” said Dr. Acton. “Working in collaboration with Franklin County Public Health, I issued an adjudication order to immediately reduce the risk of further infection.”
“It is our understanding that hospital officials have begun implementing the steps outlined in the order, tonight.”
Specific maneuvers outlined in the statement include but aren’t limited to the following, according to local media:
– Flush all hot and cold water lines and fixtures throughout the entire seven-floor, 200-bed facility.
– Implement immediate remediation practices to disinfect hot and cold water lines and fixtures.
– Ensure the two on-sight cooling towers are cleaned and serviced.
Legionnaires’ disease is described as a severe form of pneumonia and is contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing the Legionella bacteria, which is why authorities are targeting the hospital’s water supply.
Similarly, this brings to mind a recent superbug fungal outbreak that spread rapidly throughout U.S. hospitals, mainly New York and New Jersey.
During this outbreak in 2017, there were at least 61 reported cases of the deadly fungus that touts a 60% mortality rate and has the potential to become widespread due to conventional antibiotics being ineffective in treating it.
At the time, reported cases of the fungal superbug, called Candida auris, skyrocketed a staggering 800% from several months prior.
“It’s acting like a superbug,” said Paige Armstrong of the CDC. “Without appropriate infection control and really a rigorous response, [it] could lead to even more cases in the United States.”