20 de dez de 2014

VA patient tests positive for Legionella bacteria exposure

A patient of the Fayetteville Veterans Administration hospital was exposed to Legionella bacteria sometime within the past year, the hospital reported Friday.
Hospital staff are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the bacteria to other patients and staff, including moving some patients to a separate wing of the hospital, the news release states.
The hospital initially reported that the patient had tested positive for the bacteria itself. It later said the test only showed the patient had been exposed to bacteria in the past year.
Hospital staff are implementing remediation plans, and treating the water according to federal and state guidelines.
Legionella bacteria can cause Pontiac fever and Legionnaires' disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Legionnaires' disease can cause pneumonia, with symptoms, such as cough, high fever and muscle aches, appearing two to 14 days after exposure.
Pontiac fever is a milder infection lasting two to five days and does not cause pneumonia.
The bacteria grow best in warm water and can be transmitted when people breathe in mist or vapor containing the bacteria, according to the CDC. Preventing the transmission of Legionella bacteria includes maintenance of the water systems in which Legionella grow, including drinking water systems, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and cooling towers.

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