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Allegheny

McKeesport nursing home lifts some restrictions following Legionella scare

Ben Schmitt
| Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, 5:06 p.m.

A McKeesport nursing home has lifted most of its water restrictions following a Legionella bacteria scare, officials said Tuesday.

Kane Regional Center got the all-clear from the Allegheny County Health Department for the water system serving the building's A side, said Dennis Biondo, Kane's executive director.

Test results on the other side of the building, known as the B side, are pending, he said. Initial results on that side were low for Legionella.

“But, in the interim, the facility also did a whole house hyper-chlorinating of the water system last week as an additional precaution,” Biondo wrote in an emailed statement. “The expectation is that patients on the B-Side will be returned to normal water use when the next test results come back.”

Legionella bacteria can lead to Legionnaires' disease, a form of pneumonia that can be fatal to patients with compromised immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After an unnamed patient tested positive Oct. 24, administrators ordered residents and staff using the system in question to use bottled water while further testing ensued.

Administrators installed a $30,000 copper-silver ionization disinfection system. Biondo said the cost of the system will come from Kane's operating budget. Allegheny County runs the Kane centers. Besides McKeesport, Kane has facilities in Ross, Scott and Glen Hazel.

The entire system will be retested next week, Biondo said.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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