July 31, 2014
In this Issue:
- Eight Cases Among Patients at an Alabama Hospital
- Baby Contracts Legionnaires’ Disease from Pool During Birth
- Woman Loses Both Legs and One Hand After Contracting Legionnaires’
- Recording of “Deciding Whether to Test for Legionella” Available for 60 Days
- Legionnaires’ Reported at Three North Carolina Nursing Homes
- Update on ASHRAE 188
- For the Next Three Weeks: Conference Calls on Water Management Plans
- CDC’s Legionnaires’ Policy Criticized in Forbes Article
1. Eight Cases Among Patients at an Alabama Hospital
Two patients in the hematology/oncology unit of an Alabama hospital died In late May after laboratory tests confirmed a Legionella infection. Six other patients in the same unit tested positive for Legionella.
After the cases were identified, the hospital installed filters on showers and faucets, flushed superheated water through the hot water piping in part of the hospital, and asked patients to temporarily wear masks when flushing toilets.
The news articles did not state the hospital’s longer term plan, if any, for controlling Legionella.
2. Baby Contracts Legionnaires’ Disease During Birth in Pool
Public Health England has advised against the use of home birthing pools. It issued a temporary warning in June after a case of Legionnaires’ disease was identified in a baby born in a home pool and confirmed the advice earlier this month after investigating the pools and finding unsatisfactory risk control procedures.
The alert pertains only to birthing pools with heaters and circulation as opposed to pools that are filled from the home’s hot water system and do not incorporate heaters or circulation pumps.
The full press release is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-health-england-advice-on-home-birthing-pools.
3. Woman Loses Both Legs and One Hand After Contracting Legionnaires’
Read about it at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2664508/Horrific-cost-taking-shower-dirty-water-holiday-Dream-vacation-turned-nightmare-woman-lost-legs-hand-legionnaires-disease.html
4. Recording of “Deciding Whether to Test for Legionella” Available for 60 Days
A recording of the webinar, “Deciding Whether To Test For Legionella,” presented by Matt Freije on June 4th, can be viewed free of charge at www.hcinfo.com until September 30th.
Freije discussed testing water for Legionella from the perspective of government agencies considering regulations, professional societies issuing standards, and building operators attempting to reduce risk, and then gave key considerations for building operators including proper planning, cost, legal risk, and musts for success.
The recording, about 43 minutes long, includes answers to questions submitted by the audience.
5. Legionnaires’ Reported at Three North Carolina Nursing Homes
Since mid June, Legionnaires’ disease has been reported at three nursing homes in North Carolina, two in Wilson County and one in Forsyth County.
Five residents and three visitors of a nursing home in Wilson County were diagnosed with the disease and have recovered. Three additional cases were linked to another nursing home in Wilson County, a state-operated facility.
Six cases of Legionnaires’ disease were identified among residents of a nursing home in Forsyth County, all of whom have recovered.
No new cases have been reported in the Wilson County homes since July 10th or in the Forsyth County home since July 24th.
6. Update on ASHRAE 188
According to a May 15th press release (https://www.ashrae.org/news/2014/ashrae-continues-work-on-legionellosis-standard-fourth-public-review-draft-slated-for-summer), 188P committee chair Tom Watson “is optimistic that a fourth public review draft…will be approved and made available during the summer.”
The fourth draft of the pending standard, which has been renamed “Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems,” is expected to retain a water management plan approach with principles similar to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) but without HACCP terminology.
7. For the Next Three Weeks: Conference Calls on Water Management Plans
For the next three weeks, Matt Freije has scheduled a few 15-minute time slots for phone calls to discuss water management plans for Legionella control, at no charge.
Matt will listen to your needs and preferences and then suggest an approach to getting high quality management plans quickly and economically whether you operate one building, multiple buildings on one campus, or properties in several locations.
Water treatment companies, engineering firms, or consulting firms that have specific projects to discuss are welcome to book phone calls also.
Time slots are available on a first come, first served basis. To schedule a phone meeting, go to https://www.timetrade.com/book/GDQ8M and select a time that’s convenient for you.
8. CDC’s Legionnaires’ Policy Criticized in Forbes Article
Henry Miller contends that “Deaths have resulted from a conscious, long-standing policy on how to address a common, potentially life-threatening infection, Legionnaires’ disease, a type of environmentally acquired pneumonia.” The article was posted on July 22nd at http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2014/07/22/cdc-errs-in-policy-as-well-as-handling-dangerous-pathogens/