Legionnaires' Disease in Health Facilities

Legionnaires' disease risk may be high in health care facilities

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning that some health care facilities may pose a risk of Legionnaires' disease.

That's because 76 percent of the 21 areas the CDC studied reported cases of Legionnaires' disease tied to health care facilities.

According to the CDC, cases of Legionnaires' disease tied to health care facilities can be particularly severe. Legionnaires' disease is a lung infection caused by bacteria that develop in building water systems. The CDC noted that most cases of this infection are not tied to health care facilities, but those that are can be deadly.

“Legionnaires’ disease in hospitals is widespread, deadly, and preventable," said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat in a press release. "These data are especially important for health care facility leaders, doctors, and facility managers because it reminds them to think about the risks of Legionella in their facility and to take action. Controlling these bacteria in water systems can be challenging, but it is essential to protect patients.”

This report found that 80 percent of the cases of Legionnaires' disease tied to health care facilities were from long-term care facilities. Eighteen percent came from hospitals, and 2 percent came from both hospitals and long-term care facilities, according to the report. Most of the cases were in people who were older than 60.

The CDC published these findings in its Vital Signs report. No outside funding sources or conflicts of interest were reported.

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Review Date: 
June 11, 2017