30 de out de 2013

Six Legionnaires' disease cases tied to Lehigh County outpatient center

Six people sickened, possibly by tainted fountain water



Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-lehigh-county-legionairres-outbreak-20131030,0,3773533.story#ixzz2jEs7E7KJ


In a statement, health department press secretary Aimee Tysarczyk said the department was limited in the information it could share because of restrictions under the Disease Prevention and Control Law regarding continuing investigations.
She encouraged people with concerns to consult a doctor.
"It's important for the public to know that legionella is commonly found in various places in the environment and cases occur all the time throughout the state," Tysarczyk wrote. "Legionnaire's is a reportable disease in Pennsylvania, which means health care facilities, health care practitioners and clinical laboratories are required to report it to the Department of Health within 24 hours and thereafter we will investigate those reports which involves asking a series of questions including where the individual has recently been."
Finding a location common to patients does not necessarily mean the location is the source of the disease, the statement said, so the department has to expand its inquiry beyond that common denominator.
Tysarczyk said IHC had been cooperative and followed appropriate measures to assist with the investigation, and the health department had followed traditional protocols by issuing an alert to health care professional.
The alert urges vigilance about reporting potential cases so the department can follow-up and investigate, Tysarczyk wrote.
IHC's statement said the fountain in the lobby of the 250 building and the fountain outside the lobby were shut down and drained. The results of tests on the water are pending. The facility's drinking water system was also sanitized, though it was not considered a likely source of the infection.
The health department conducted its own inspection, taking water samples on Friday.


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