TribLIVE

| Home


Weather Forecast
 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Another person sickened in Legionnaires' disease outbreak at VA University Drive

Daily Photo Galleries

Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, 10:30 a.m.
 

Five people have now been sickened in the Legionnaires' disease outbreak linked to the water distribution system at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System's University Drive Campus in Oakland, a hospital official reported on Thursday.

VA spokesman Dave Cowgill declined to say if the most recent victim has been successfully treated or remains hospitalized, citing federal privacy laws. Officials said last week that four patients who developed pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria were successfully treated and released.

“Patient privacy concerns prohibit me from responding in this particular case,” Cowgill wrote in an email.

The fifth patient likely contracted the illness before officials completed cleaning the water distribution system with hyperchlorinization and flushing, Cowgill said. The incubation period for the bacteria is 14 days, and therefore, officials determined the patient became infected in the hospital, he said.

The 146-bed facility remains under alert for more cases, and officials have imposed water restrictions after discovering the outbreak on Nov. 16.

Cowgill could not say when the restrictions will be lifted. Restrictions include using water buffaloes for cooking and cleaning, and using hand sanitizers instead of soap and water for handwashing.

Patients, visitors and employees have been instructed not to drink the water. Officials have brought in bottled water and bagged water for patients' baths.

The potentially deadly bacteria typically is treated with antibiotics. Some people with weakened immune systems can be more severely affected. The VA has not released specific patient information.

Officials said they have changed the way they disinfect the hospital's water distribution system.

Luis Fábregas is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7998 or lfabregas@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
  2. Wedding aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper ends in arrests
  3. Steelers Lookahead: Previewing Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland
  4. Campus visit sells 4-star Ohio recruit Hall on Panthers
  5. Love locks tokens fall prey to renovations on Pittsburgh bridges
  6. Steelers notebook: Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
  7. Housing market remains ‘disaster’ in Westmoreland County
  8. Pa. judge identified who denied Trib request to view sexually explicit emails circulated in AG’s Office
  9. Pirates notebook: Sanchez returns to Bucs in offensive slump
  10. Nearing 25 years together, WPXI anchors Johnson, Finnegan defy odds
  11. Boston College football coach Addazio can’t get enough of the game
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.