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Resident of Squirrel Hill home for seniors diagnosed with non-fatal Legionnaires'

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By Adam Smeltz
Thursday, May 30, 2013, 1:57 p.m.
 

A resident at the Weinberg Terrace senior home in Squirrel Hill has Legionnaires' disease, but no evidence suggests the resident contracted the illness at the facility, according to the Allegheny County Health Department.

County health officials said the illness is an isolated case. They have not recommended that Weinberg Terrace take any special action, spokesman Guillermo Cole said Thursday. He said the resident was diagnosed with a non-fatal case of the disease, a form of pneumonia, within the last week or so.

“At the present time, we have no reason to believe the facility was the source,” Cole said. “We'll continue to monitor things.”

Waterborne Legionella bacteria can cause the disease when inhaled by the elderly or others with weakened immune systems. Cole said Weinberg Terrace is running voluntary tests of its water.

Management should know the results by early next week, a facility representative said. In the meantime, she said, the home is providing bottled water to residents and special shower filters for bathing as precautionary measures.

“They're doing this voluntarily out of an abundance of caution,” Cole said.

The county does not disclose personal details of individual illnesses, including patient names, because of federal privacy restrictions.

Adam Smeltz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5676 or asmeltz@tribweb.com.

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