TribLIVE

| Home

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

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

- Water fountain in hall at the VA Hospital in Oakland. Submitted photo
Water fountain in hall at the VA Hospital in Oakland. Submitted photo
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - Reports of an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease has occurred at the VA Hospital in Oakland, Friday, November 16th, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review</em></div>Reports of an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease has occurred at the VA Hospital in Oakland, Friday, November 16th, 2012.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers notebook: Tomlin says Latrobe session won’t differ from normal practice
  2. Pirates acquire Soria from Tigers
  3. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced, Worley designated for assignment
  4. Police search for missing 7-year-old
  5. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed dangerous homicide suspect
  6. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  7. China says U.S. trying to militarize South China Sea
  8. Obama nominates 3 judges for federal bench in Pittsburgh
  9. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  10. Connellsville man arrested for firing handgun in city’s East Park
  11. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions