Legionnaires' disease case suspected at UW Medical Center

Source:, May 23, 2018
A case of suspected Legionnaires’ disease has been found at the University of Washington Medical Center — the third time in as many years that the disease has been suspected at the facility.
UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance report a suspected case of Legionella pneumonia involving a patient in a SCCA Hospital at the UW Medical Center.
Officials said the patient “has been diagnosed with a highly probable healthcare associated Legionella pneumonia.”
The patient is in satisfactory condition and is responding well to treatment, officials said.
“We believe this is an isolated case, and Legionella bacteria are rarely, if ever, transmitted from person to person,” UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance said.
UW Medical Center reported cases of Legionaires’ disease in 2017 and in 2016.
Patients and families in the units where the infection was discovered have been notified. Environmental testing is underway to identify a source.
In addition:
• The two rooms where this patient received care have been taken out of service pending culture results from water sources in the rooms.
• The ice machine from the unit where the patient was located has been replaced.
• All patient respiratory specimens are being tested for Legionella bacteria.
• Patients with pneumonia are being tested for Legionella.
UW Medical Center says this is the first suspected case of the disease since there were two cases in August 2017.
“In response, UW Medical Center installed special filters on all showers and sinks in the inpatient rooms in the Cascade Tower. A robust water management plan was also developed that includes testing and monitoring of water temperature, chlorine levels and presence of Legionella. All known facility-based risk factors that may have contributed to prior cases were mitigated. The effectiveness of the filters has been validated by testing.”

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