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Report: Legionella bacteria that killed vet in April likely not from Pittsburgh VA system

| Monday, May 18, 2015, 6:21 p.m.

Legionella bacteria that killed a patient last month at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System likely did not come from the hospital system, a federal analysis shows.

Testing at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the patient's infection does not match recent types of Legionella detected in the VA Pittsburgh water systems, VA spokesman Donald Manuszewski said Monday.

“We're confident he didn't get it here,” Manuszewski said of the patient, who died April 22 of Legionnaires' disease. His name has not been released.

Doctors at the VA medical center in Oakland diagnosed him with the disease, a severe form of pneumonia, on April 21. Dozens of water tests in and near areas where he received treatment found no evidence of the waterborne bacteria that causes Legionnaires', according to the VA.

Manuszewski said the VA investigation is complete. He said the Allegheny County Health Department is looking into other places where the veteran might have picked up Legionella, such as his home or workplace.

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