MADISON, Wisconsin – A patient at the University of Wisconsin Hospital who had developed Legionellosis died following a suspicious problem with the hospital's hot water system, according to UW Health officials.
"The seriously ill patient who had also tested positive for Legionella died," said UW Health spokeswoman Lisa Brunette. "The patient was in the hospital for multiple and serious health problems and the death was not unexpected."
Also on Thursday, the hospital announced that a fifth person had developed the disease and started treatment with antibiotics.
A patient with a positive Legionella test is also treated with SSM Health.
"This patient contracted the bacteria in the community," said Lisa Adams, spokesperson for SSM Health. "This patient has not contracted the bacteria in a health facility."
The state health services department reported that there were 11 cases of Leginnaires' disease, confirmed and suspected, reported this week. Meriter Hospital officials confirmed that they are not currently treating any patients for this disease.
On Wednesday, UW hospital officials said three previously hospitalized patients and one hospitalized patient contracted legionnaires' disease, also known as legionellosis, a type of pneumonia. The hospital is taking action to counter the suspicious risk to patients associated with the hospital's hot water system.
The hospital has put in place a "hyperchlorination" process to flush all hot water pipes from the building to eliminate any Legionella bacteria. The hospital also informed the patients and staff concerned about the situation.
Legionnaires are caused by bacteria that are usually present at low concentrations in tap water. The UW hospital said it was using a water treatment system designed to keep the levels low, but that a "recent adjustment of this system could have compromised its function," he said. said hospital officials.
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