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Legionella Bacteria Resurfaces At Huntington-Area Hospital

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
Legionella pneumophila, the bacterium that can cause Legionnaires’ disease

Tests show bacteria that causes the severe form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease has resurfaced at a West Virginia-run hospital, health officials said.

Routine screening found Legionella bacteria at the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington. The hospital is operated by the state Department of Health and Human Resources. The building where the bacteria was detected did not house patients.

In April, the hospital replaced all faucets and a hot water heater and installed a recirculation pump after the bacteria first was detected in two sinks in the hospital’s administration building.

The bacteria in the latest tests was found in the same places as in April: a CEO restroom and a former human resources break room in a basement, the DHHR said in a news release.

Legionnaire’s disease can be dangerous to people with lung or immune system problems. It is spread by inhaling droplets from contaminated water sources. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.

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