3 patients dead, 14 diagnosed in Legionnaires’ outbreak at UW Health

3 patients dead, 14 diagnosed in Legionnaires’ outbreak at UW Health

Three patients who contracted Legionnaires’ disease after an outbreak of the disease at UW Health have died, and the hospital has confirmed a total of 14 cases during the outbreak.

The hospital said in a release Monday that the three patients who died all had serious, life-limiting health conditions. Ten patients who contracted the disease have been discharged and are doing well, according to UW Health.

UW Health announced in late November there were multiple cases of Legionnaires’, a type of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria, and it linked the outbreak to a change in its hot-water system. The hospital flushed the system with high levels of chlorine to eliminate the bacteria. A week later, the hospital discovered the outbreak had affected 11 patients.

The hospital said Monday the strain of bacteria in the new cases of Legionnaires’ matched the bacteria in the water system but that the hyperchlorination has been effective.

“Testing completed so far continues to show the expected reduction in the bacteria,” the hospital wrote in a release Monday.” UW Health will continue intensive monitoring of its water system to ensure patient safety.”

The hospital said it is working with the CDC to review and analyze its work in responding to the issue. The report is expected to be out in about three months, according to the hospital.

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