COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Health officials are now investigating three possible cases of Legionnaires’ disease of patients who were treated at Mount Carmel East.
Two of the patients are from Licking County and one is from Franklin County, according to a Columbus Public Health spokesman.
According to a hospital spokesperson, two patients who were recently treated at the hospital have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
Cricket Miller, of Grove City, said her grandmother was one of the patients to be diagnosed with Legionnaires disease due to the June outbreak.
She learned about the possible cases at Mount Carmel East Monday morning.
“The whole thing is frustrating,” Miller said. “It’s maddening and it’s disgusting that the possibility that another one of the Mount Carmel facilities could’ve had a legionella outbreak after what we saw over the summer with Mount Carmel Grove City.”
Over the weekend, the hospital issued the following statement:
Working with local health officials, we’ve determined at least two possible healthcare-associated cases of Legionnaires’ disease in individuals who recently received treatment at Mount Carmel East. We are partnering with Columbus Public Health (CPH) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), in conjunction with the CDC, to identify the source of bacteria.
We’ve taken several steps to protect our patients, staff and visitors, including implementing extensive water restrictions throughout the hospital. We are running additional tests on water sources throughout the hospital and our entire water supply is undergoing hyperchlorination. We’re confident that we can safely maintain full services of the hospital while we study this situation.
For most people, the risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease is low; however, individuals with chronic, underlying medical conditions are at increased risk. If you have been hospitalized and develop cough, muscle aches, headaches, fever or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care physician.
As always, the safety of our patients is our top priority. We will continue testing the water over the next few weeks in coordination with CPH, ODH and CDC.
As we learn more, we will provide updates to our patients and community.
In August, the bacteria was found in the Mount Carmel College of Nursing. There are no reported cases of anyone contracting the disease from there.
In June, however, health officials stated 16 patients contracted Legionnaires’ disease while seeking treatment at Mount Carmel Grove City. Franklin County Public Health is investigating whether one of those patients died from the disease.