HOKE COUNTY -- Three residents at Autumn Care of Raeford have tested positive for the Legionella bacteria. The first case was reported, and as a precaution, all other residents were tested. Two others also tested positive.
"To see, check with the patients who had been diagnosed with pneumonia in the past six months, and from that it was determined that there were two other cases of Legionella based on that,” said Cindy Morton, RN, nursing supervisor, Hoke County Health Department.
The Autumn Care facility has not been definitely identified as the source for the bacteria. Legionella bacteria is commonly found in the environment, usually in water.
"The organism grows in a water-based environment, our aeration systems, our air condition systems, the palming system. It will grow on puddles of water on the roadside, so wherever there is a water type environment, where the water is kind of just sitting, it will grow,” said Karen L. Smith, MD, family physician.
Symptoms of the disease can be deceiving, almost identical to flu-like symptoms, but even more severe. Doctors say Legionella is most likely found in the early fall and late summer months, unlike the flu which most commonly occurs in the winter months.
"It's typical high fever, cough, congestion, but the person feels extremely weak, and when they are evaluated or examined by the physician, we may also hear activity in the lungs, and we confirm that with a chest X-ray,” said Smith.
Autumn Care has taken precautions related to the facility's water, using bottle water for drinking, brushing teeth and shaving. Special filters are being placed on showers and faucets throughout the building to remove the Legionella bacteria.- See more at: http://charlotte.twcnews.com/content/news/sandhills/712204/legionnaires--disease-detected-in-hoke-county/#sthash.K6VEenWs.dpuf