13 de jun de 2014

Tenth person tests positive for legionella at UAB Hospital, precautionary masks requirement lifted

BIRMINGHAM, AL -Another patient on the hematology/oncology unit at UAB Hospital tested positive for legionella bacteria.UAB released a new statement this morning on the bacteria regarding remediation efforts and water testing results.

The statement reads, in part:

"After extensive testing, review and close consultation with the Jefferson County Department of Health, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the CDC, UAB Hospital has lifted the precautionary recommendation that everyone on floors 5, 6 and 7 of the Women and Infants Center wear a mask when flushing the toilet. This precautionary measure was implemented after patients on a single unit on one floor tested positive for legionella, a bacteria that can lead to a type of pneumonia called legionellosis."

RELATED: UAB Hospital investigating legionella outbreak after two patients die

Hospital officials say they have received preliminary results from the water testing conducting on June 4 that serves the affected unit and have confirmed those tests showed no presence of legionella bacteria. 

"Those tests were conducted to confirm the effectiveness of the chemical shock that was successfully completed on May 31," the statement reads. 

Thursday UAB also confirmed an additional patient has tested positive for legionella.

RELATED: UAB continues efforts to kill traces of legionella

As we've reported, eight patients initially tested positive for legionella. Two of the patients died. But, the cause of death for the two patients has not been determined.

The Jefferson County Health Department also confirmed another person, who was a visitor at the hospital, also tested positive for the bacteria.

The latest patient, announced Thursday, marks the tenth person to test positive.

"This patient was admitted to the unit several days before special filters that remove legionella from water were installed throughout the building on May 25," said a UAB spokesperson. 

"The patient is receiving appropriate treatment. Based on the incubation period of legionellosis and the preliminary test results that show no presence of legionella in the water system, the county and state health departments and the CDC agree that the onset of the patient's symptoms suggest that exposure occurred prior to the installation of the water filters on the unit."

The hospital says water filters will remain in place.

RELATED: State says UAB prevented future legionella outbreaks

We're told planned testing and remediation will also continue with the guidance of public health authorities.

The CDC and Jefferson County Health Department have both assisted UAB with the cases.

 Ashley Roberts interviewed attorney Jason Shamblin with the firm "Cory Watson Crowder and DeGaris" 

The firm is representing the family of one patient who died and one patient they say visited UAB and contracted legionella.

Hear from the attorney at 5 and 6.

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