Legionnaires’ outbreak at Wisconsin hospital results in 3 deaths, officials say

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A Legionnaires’ illness outbreak at a hospital in Wisconsin has killed three individuals, a hospital official confirmed to Fox Information.

A UW Hospital spokeswoman, Lisa Brunette, informed Fox Information in a press release Thursday that there have been 14 confirmed circumstances of the illness. Of these 14, three individuals died.

“Laboratory testing of three sufferers has confirmed that the pressure of Legionella in these sufferers is similar pressure beforehand discovered within the hospital’s water system,” she mentioned within the assertion, including “some sufferers couldn’t present samples needed for such testing.”


The three sufferers who died had different “severe, life-limiting well being circumstances,” The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Whereas one affected person stays within the hospital for “ongoing remedy of great well being circumstances,” 10 of the sufferers who have been contaminated “have been discharged and are doing effectively,” Brunette mentioned.

The outbreak was probably a results of a “determination to cut back water move on the hospital throughout low-demand instances,” Nasia Safdar, the medical director of an infection management at UW Hospital, informed the newspaper. Decreasing the water move could make it extra “weak to infectious micro organism,” she mentioned.

The water move has since been resuming usually and it has been chlorinated.

“Testing accomplished thus far continues to indicate the anticipated discount within the micro organism,” the spokeswoman informed Fox Information within the assertion. “UW Well being will proceed intensive monitoring of its water system to make sure affected person security.”


Legionnaires illness is a “extreme type of pneumonia,” in accordance with the Mayo Clinic, which explains pneumonia is the irritation of the lung that’s sometimes attributable to an an infection.

“You’ll be able to’t catch Legionnaires’ illness from person-to-person contact. As a substitute, most individuals get Legionnaires’ illness from inhaling the micro organism,” the Mayo Clinic states, noting that older adults, those that smoke or these with “weakened immune techniques” are probably the most vulnerable.

Legionella pneumophila, a bacterium, is normally the reason for the sickness. It may be present in soil and water, however extra generally causes an infection when it multiplies in water techniques, similar to scorching tubs and air conditioners.

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