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ABD’deki Huzurevinde Lejyoner Hastalığı Salgını: 39 Hastanın Altısı Öldü

Legionnaires’ death toll at Reynoldsburg retirement center hits 6

By  Misti Crane

Wednesday August 7, 2013 4:37 AM


A sixth Wesley Ridge Retirement Community resident has died in the state’s largest and deadliest Legionnaires’ disease outbreak on record.

There have been 39 confirmed cases linked to the Reynoldsburg retirement community in the past month. The ill have ranged in age from 63 to 99 and included residents, visitors and one employee.

Health officials have said more recent reports of deaths and illnesses are not a sign that there is an ongoing problem. Legionnaires’ can take weeks to make a person sick. There also is lag time between the onset of symptoms and lab confirmation of the illness.Furthermore, some of those who have died had been sick for some time.

Everyone who has died was a resident of Wesley Ridge, which has taken precautions to prevent further illness and is working to rid the campus of the bacteria. There remain trace amounts of Legionella in the community’s Parkside building, and drinking and showering restrictions will remain until that’s resolved, said Franklin County Public Health spokeswoman Mitzi Kline.

Wesley Ridge has ordered shower heads approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Once those are installed, showering restrictions will be lifted, she said.

Wesley Ridge is working with federal, state and local health officials on a long-term plan for keeping Legionella out of its water system. The bacteria are ubiquitous and usually harmless in the environment but cause trouble when they multiply. That can easily happen in warm, stagnant water. The bacteria sicken people who inhale tiny droplets suspended in the air and develop pneumonia. Those who are frail or have other medical problems are especially vulnerable to severe infections and death.

Since the outbreak began, 32 people have been hospitalized with infections. None remains in the hospital, Kline said.

The investigation continues. Tests have shown that the bacteria were in water used for drinking, showering and cooking and in an air-conditioning cooling tower. So far, investigators have not been able to explain what conditions caused Legion ella to flourish at Wesley Ridge.

The CDC has determined that bacteria found in the facility genetically match bacteria in the single patient from whom they were able to get a good sample for testing, said Ohio Department of Health spokeswoman Tessie Pollock.

In the past five years, the state has tracked 14 outbreaks, including five this year. The second-largest outbreak in recent years was linked to a Dayton hospital and sickened 11 and killed two.