Legionella-related death reported at Mount Carmel Grove City

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GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH) — A Mount Carmel Grove City patient has died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

Seven cases of the disease were reported in patients at the hospital.

 Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH, issued the following statement this evening regarding the Legionella-related death of a Mount Carmel Grove City Patient: 

“My entire team and I are deeply saddened by the death announced tonight by Mount Carmel Grove City, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. We share concern for all impacted by this outbreak. The Ohio Department of Health continues to work closely with Franklin County Public Health and the Mount Carmel Hospital System as we work to ensure patient safety.

Legionnaires’ disease generally kills about 10 percent of those diagnosed in the general population, but that rate can rise to 1 in 4 people when the outbreak is at a nursing home or hospital.

The hospital released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of the patients who was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease passed away today. Out of respect for the family’s privacy and in keeping with patient privacy laws, we are not discussing the specifics and complexities of patient information. We can say that it’s too early to determine the final cause of death. For most people, the risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease is low; however, individuals with chronic, underlying medical conditions are at increased risk.

Currently, we’re working with county and state health officials to identify the source of the bacteria. We’ve taken several steps to protect our patients, staff and visitors, including implementing extensive water restrictions. We are running additional tests on water sources throughout Mount Carmel Grove City, and our entire water supply is undergoing supplemental disinfection. We’re confident that we can safely maintain full services of the hospital.

If an individual has been hospitalized and developed cough, muscle aches, headaches, fever or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care physician. Members of the public who have questions or would like more information can call 614-265-8111.”

On Saturday, Dr. Acton confirmed seven cases of Legionnnaires’ disease in patients at the hospital. She issued an adjudication order outlining steps the hospital must take to ensure clean water in the facility.

If Mt. Carmel Grove City failed to implement the actions, she would order the hospital to cease accepting new patients, the Ohio Department of Health said in its statement.

According to the Center for Disease Control, Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the bacteria Legionella.

Patients develop pneumonia-like symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headache, and fever. 

The disease spreads through water droplets in the air, and lives in fresh water where the bacteria can multiply, says the CDC.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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