Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital says patient diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease

Posted at 10:51 PM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 22:52:37-04

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Beaumont Hospital has released a statement saying a patient at the hospital has been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

The statement reads as follows:

A patient in our community was recently diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. That individual was a patient at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. Legionnaires’ disease is a form of bacterial pneumonia spread primarily by breathing in small water droplets.

The safety of our patients, families and staff is our top priority. We have a robust water safety plan that includes regular monitoring and testing. In our ongoing testing, temperature, pH and chlorine levels have all been within appropriate ranges.

We are following CDC guidelines and collaborating with state and county agencies. To help support a safe environment, we are taking appropriate action, such as providing bottled water and continuing the water sampling tests we routinely conduct.

No other information has been released.

Where is the bacteria found?

Legionella bacteria are found naturally in fresh water lakes and streams but can also be found in man-made water systems. Potable water systems, cooling towers, whirlpool spas and decorative fountains offer common environments for bacterial growth and transmission if they are not cleaned and maintained properly. Warm water, stagnation and low disinfectant levels are conditions that support growth in these water systems.

How is the disease transmitted?

Transmission to people occurs when mist or vapor containing the bacteria is inhaled. Legionellosis does not spread person to person. Risk factors for exposure to Legionella bacteria include:

  • Recent travel with an overnight stay.
  • Recent stay in a healthcare facility.
  • Exposure to hot tubs.
  • Exposure to settings where the plumbing has had recent repairs or maintenance work.

Most healthy individuals do not become infected after exposure to Legionella. Individuals at a higher risk of getting sick include the following:

  • People over age 50.
  • Current or former smokers.
  • People with chronic lung disease.
  • People with weakened immune systems from diseases, such as cancer, diabetes or liver or kidney failure.
  • People who take immunosuppressant drugs.

Individuals with any concerns about Legionnaires’ disease or exposure to the Legionella bacteria should talk to their healthcare provider.
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