5 de ago. de 2013

Five Dead From Bacteria Outbreak in Retirement Home

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio) -- Five died and 39 were sickened at the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community in Reynoldsburg, Ohio as of Friday from a Legionella bacteria outbreak, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Legionella, commonly found in streams and ponds, can also live in undetectable amounts in treated water in municipal systems. The usually harmless bacteria can turn toxic in warm buildings with large water systems, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Ohio has had 14 Legionnaires' disease outbreaks this year. Only three of the outbreaks, including Wesley Ridge, have been linked to a specific source, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Experts on preventing Legionnaires’ disease are now urging buildings prone to outbreaks to take action. Matthew Freije, a California engineer who has investigated hundreds of water systems in buildings, said, "The idea is to take the preventive measures before somebody becomes sick instead of just reacting to it."

Wesley Ridge issued a statement saying, “We have not gone beyond industry standards... We are not aware of a retirement community that has a preventative program in place in terms of regularly monitoring bacteria levels in their potable water.”

The Columbus Dispatch says the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers is working on new guidelines and an industry standard to help enforce regulations for building operators.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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