Ohio Nursing Home News: Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in Nursing Home
Six residents of an Ohio nursing home have died in the largest outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the state’s history. Dozens of people have been sickened with the rare bacterial infection at the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and health officials are working to try to figure out the cause of a second Legionnaires’ outbreak at an auto parts store about 100 miles away from the Ohio nursing home.
Legionnaires’ disease is actually a type of pneumonia caused by a natural water dwelling bacteria. However, in some circumstances, the bacteria can multiply to unnaturally high amounts which cause those with weakened or compromised immune systems to become ill. The bacteria was found in the water system of the Ohio nursing home, which now incorporates a high heat and chlorine system to try and kill the bacteria. The nursing home has also installed special filters and will perform new testing and water maintenance procedures. Margaret Carmany, CEO of Methodist ElderCare Services, the Ohio nursing home parent company said “I’m doing everything in my power to make sure we get rid of this bacteria and we keep it out of our system,” The Intelligencer reported.
About 80 miles from the Wesley Ridge nursing home, an auto parts supply company has also been struck by the bacteria, causing one person to become ill and killing another. The Auglaize County Health Department continues to investigate the source of the bacteria in that case.
Ohio Nursing Home Outbreak Not the First for the State
According to the Ohio Health Department, the state is struck with hundreds of cases of Legionnaires’ disease each year. Last year, Ohioans suffered 290 cases and 390 in 2011, including an outbreak that killed two people. This year, Ohio has already experienced at least 326 cases of Legionnaires’ disease. Eight people have died this year in Ohio in five outbreaks.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says thousands of people are treated in hospitals across the country for Legionnaires’ disease, and about 3,000 cases are reported to the CDC annually, Westport News reports.
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