Oct 12, 2013
05:14 AM
Connecticut Today

Bacteria Behind Legionnaires’ Disease Found in Water at VA Hospital in West Haven

Bacteria Behind Legionnaires’ Disease Found in Water at VA Hospital in West Haven

A photo of the West Haven facility from the connecticut.va.gov website.

WEST HAVEN--Tests at the Veterans Affairs medical center have found “low, but detectable levels” of Legionella bacteria in its water sources, the VA said, adding that there have been “no definite reports” of “healthcare-associated illnesses” related to it.

State Rep. Louis P. Esposito, D-West Haven, said he was told by an official at the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority that the bacteria “was confined to one building and it was found in about five faucets.”

The VA, in a written statement that it sent to its employees and shared with the New Haven Register, said the bacteria was found during “a recent routine water sampling” and there had been no reports of illness.

“In the past two decades, there have been no definitive reports of healthcare-associated illnesses related to Legionella bacterium (also known as Legionnaires’ disease) at VA Connecticut Healthcare System,” the statement said.

“There is no immediate risk to our patients or employees,” the VA said. “Detecting some level of Legionella in hospital water systems nationwide is not an uncommon finding. Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in warm water.

“Water distribution systems in buildings, especially hot water systems, are known to be conducive to Legionella growth,” it said. “It cannot be entirely eliminated from building water systems, but growth can be suppressed to avoid high concentrations.”

Legionella bacteria “are not transmitted from person to person,” the VA said. “People get Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor (small drops of water in the air) that contains the bacteria.”

See the full story at the New Haven Register online.

 

Bacteria Behind Legionnaires’ Disease Found in Water at VA Hospital in West Haven

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