Officials from the federal health have warned nursing homes and hospitals regarding the risks of getting Legionnaire’s disease by patients through the building’s water systems that have been contaminated. In the UK, plumbing companies such as Plumb4You Welling are hired by health facilities in order to make sure the water system is safe.
According to an analysis, out of over 2,800 cases of documented Legionnaire’s disease that happened in 2015 there are 553 cases that are found to be caused by health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes. This is included in a report Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are sixty six patients who succumbed to the said illness.
The acting director of CDC, Anne Schuchat, said that the disease is widespread and fatal but it can be prevented.
Legionnaire’s disease is a type of pneumonia brought by the bacteria Legionella. It is life-threatening thus prevention is necessary. The bacteria prosper in water systems including tanks for water storage as well as pipes. Those who have a weak immune system are more susceptible to the disease such as elderly who are already suffering from another illness.
The CDC said that health facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals should take extra measure necessary to ensure that the bacteria will not be able to penetrate the areas used by patients where they are at risk of exposure including bathtubs, showers and sinks. All medical equipment that utilizes water should also be monitored.
Schushat said that infections can be prevented by health facilities by making sure they have an effective system used for water management. People are leaving their loved ones in the care of hospitals and nursing homes in the hope of being treated and not contacting Legionnaire’s disease.
In a report, the nation recorded 6,079 cases of people who suffered from Legionnaire’s disease in 2015. 2,809 of those cases happened in 20 different states as well as New York City. It is suspected that 486 came from health care facilities while 85 cases are confirmed. In the case of United Kingdom, the healthcare facilities in the country are cooperating with companies such as Plumb4You Welling to make sure the disease is prevented.