St. Patrick Hospital is working to eliminate Legionella from the water supply in the building. They are also installing medical-grade water filters on faucets and shower heads in each patient’s room.
The hospital is also providing bottled water and keeping patients up-to-date on the contamination.
According to Dr. Josh Christensen, infectious diseases physician at St. Patrick Hospital, the infection risk to patients is low. He said he doesn’t expect to see further patient complications related to the bacteria.
My wife and I are having a baby next week, and we’re going to have him here at the hospital. I don’t have any concern.”
The identity of the infected patient was not disclosed. Water testing was ordered after the patient contracted pneumonia that did not respond to antibiotics, and was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
In the meantime, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also working with the hospital to address the problem.
Legionnaires’ disease is severe type of pneumonia that occurs when Legionella bacteria is breathed into the lungs. The bacteria is common in water sources in the U.S. and it spread when people breathe in water vapor from showers, fountains, and air conditioning systems — especially in older buildings with complex water systems.