Legionnaire’s Cases Increase In Md. County

FREDERICK, Md. — Frederick County health officials said the number of cases of Legionnaire’s disease is higher than in the last five years, but it’s still relatively low.

Darlene Armacost, the program manager for communicable disease and preparedness at the Frederick County Health Department, said eight cases have been diagnosed this year.

Statewide, 131 cases have been reported so far this year.

Armacost said it’s not clear what caused the increase.

The bacterium Legionella grows in water and can be found in community living settings, air-conditioning systems or shower heads. Older people and those with weak immune systems are most at risk.

In the past week, the Howard County Health Department reported the death of an elderly man at an Ellicott City senior home.

Original article on: wbaltv.com

Elderly Man Dies of Legionnaires’ Disease in Howard County

The Howard County Health Department is reporting the death of an elderly male resident of the Lighthouse Senior Living facility in Ellicott City, Maryland due to Legionnaires’ disease. The death occurred in the past week.

According to Howard County Health Officer Dr. Peter Beilenson, there do not appear to be any other cases among residents at this time.

The Howard County Health Department is working in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and Lighthouse Senior Living to assure the safety of other residents at the facility and ensure that appropriate remediation takes place.

Lighthouse Senior Living is an assisted living community with two Maryland locations – Ellicott City in Howard County and Middle River in Baltimore County.

For more information about Legionnaires’ Disease visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov

Original article on Fox Baltimore

More Legionnaires’ Cases Diagnosed

NEW PORT RICHEY – Pasco County public health authorities are trying to determine what may have caused three cases of Legionnaires’ disease.

Two cases were diagnosed on the same street in Port Richey.

“We just heard of a third case that’s in a different location four miles away,” said Dr. David Johnson, director of the Pasco County Health Department.

The three cases follow last week’s outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Plant City. Three people were diagnosed to the bacterial infection in the Meadows Countrywood neighborhood last week.

One of the patients died. Initially the Hillsborough County Health Department suspected a community hot tub may have been the source of the illness. That has since been ruled out.

No known cause has been identified.

“Sometimes the cause jumps right out at you,” Pasco’s Dr. Johnson said. “But often the cause is never found,” he added.

There is no common connection between Pasco County’s three cases, except from location. Two of the patients live on the same street. The third lives nearby.

The cause could be as simple as a dirty shower head. People who live near one of the Port Richey patients say he was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance.

Johnson suggests not waiting that long for anyone who feels ill.

“If you have symptoms, if you’re developing a fever and cough you need to get in and see your doctor,” he said.

Legionnaires’ Disease comes from bacteria usually found in water. The bacteria that causes it thrives in warm and wet environments, and people contract the disease by breathing in contaminated water vapor.

“It is not contracted person to person,” explained FOX 13’s Dr. Joette Giovinco. “However, if several people were exposed to the same source, then many of those people may get sick, depending on their health.”

More information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

Original Article on My Fox Tampa Bay

Ontario Sees More Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease This Year

There have been a higher-than-normal number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Ontario this year, and health officials aren’t sure why.

The province has already seen 116 cases of the acute lung infection reported this year, compared to a total of 116 in 2010 and 69 in 2006, according to David Jansen, a spokesperson with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Legionnaires’ disease, which could be fatal in some cases, is spread through aerosolized water and soil, and not person-to-person contact.

The severity of the disease varies. Its commons symptoms are coughing, malaise, and fever.

In Ontario, an estimated 7,574 episodes are attributable to the bacterium causing the disease called legionella pneumophila each year.

Jansen said in an e-mail that health officials are not sure why the number of reported cases has gone up this year, “since there has been no common cause behind the cases in 2011.”

However, he notes that the high temperatures this past summer might have contributed to the rise in cases.

“This year’s long, hot summer may be a factor because warm water temperatures can contribute to the growth of legionella pneumophila,” he said.

Jensen recommends “proper maintenance of all mist-producing devices such as shower heads, hot tubs, whirlpools, and humidifiers” to prevent the spread of the bacteria.

Legionnaires’ disease is not easily diagnosed but can be treated with antibiotics in most cases.

Original article on The Epoch Times

Legionnaire’s Disease Kills 1, 2 More Sickened

PLANT CITY, Fla. (AP) – The health department says one person has died and two others were sickened by Legionnaire’s disease at a mobile home park near Tampa.

The Hillsborough County Health Department says the death occurred Saturday. All three people were residents of a 55-and-older mobile home park in Plant City, a rural town east of Tampa. The health department didn’t release any more information about them except to say they were not relatives and did not live together.

The respiratory disease is spread through water and a water vapor. As a precaution, two swimming pools and two hot tubs at the mobile home complex were closed.

People most at risk for getting the disease are 65 and older, as well as smokers and those who have chronic lung disease.

Original article at WikiNews

Legionnaires Disease at Boardwalk Hotel; One Fatality

OCEAN CITY- Three more cases of Legionnaire’s Disease connected to a historic Boardwalk hotel were confirmed this week, including an elderly out-of-state victim who has died from the disease, while state and local health officials this week confirmed the presence of the bacteria in the water at the facility.

Last week, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Worcester County Health Department reported three individuals who were guests at the Plim Plaza Hotel on the Boardwalk had developed legionellosis, more commonly known as Legionnaire’s Disease, roughly one week after staying at the hotel. All three individuals were hospitalized, although none had died.
This week, however, three additional cases of Legionnaire’s Disease were confirmed in people who had stayed at the hotel. One of the victims, an elderly out-of-state guest at the hotel, succumbed to symptoms of the disease, according to state health department officials.

“Our sincere condolences go out to the family of the elderly victim that passed away,” said Plim Plaza spokesperson Betsy FauntLeroy, who did not provide any more information about the victim. “We really want to respect their privacy.”

This week, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Laboratories Administration testing confirmed the presence of legionella bacteria in water collected at the Plim Plaza last week. Legionella pneumophia, the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease, was detected in water collected from various locations at the hotel.

The Worcester County Health Department and the state DHMH continue to work on the investigation, along with the Plim Plaza Hotel management, which has been proactive and cooperative from the start, according to state and local health officials.

“We’re following all of the strict guidelines with our health department and our own independent company to make sure anything and everything is undertaken to ensure nobody else is put at risk,” said FauntLeroy this week.

Almost immediately after the Plim Plaza and Harrison Group staff learned of a possible connection between the hotel and the three reported cases, guests staying at the hotel were relocated to the group’s other properties in Ocean City. The 181-room facility was about 50-percent occupied at the time the possible connection to legionellosis was reported.

For the Plim Plaza, even a remote connection between the reported cases and the hotel where the original three individuals had stayed was reason enough to relocate the guests and shut down the facility three days prior to its scheduled season-ending closure. In addition to closing the hotel early and relocating its guest, the Plim Plaza staff has reached out to all guests who stayed at the facility over the last month or so.

Legionellosisi is a form of pneumonia caused by inhaling aerosolized water, or water mist, containing the legionella bacteria. Roughly two to 14 days after exposure to the bacteria, a small number of individuals exposed the bacteria may develop legionellosis, which can be treated with commonly available antibiotics.

Symptoms mimic the flu, including high fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, or severe body aches. Persons at higher risk include smokers, the elderly, those with chronic lung disease or those with compromised immune systems. However, the illness is not spread from person to person.

Although the hotel is currently closed for the season, state and local health officials, along with the hotel staff, continue to urge anyone who was a guest at the Plim Plaza during the month of September and is experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms to contact his or her health care provider.

Original article from: The Dispatch

OCEAN CITY: Three guests at Plim Plaza develop Legionnaires Disease

OCEAN CITY–The Plim Plaza Hotel in Ocean City closed for the season after three people who had been guests at the hotel developed legionellosis.

It has not been confirmed that the guests developed legionellosis, commonly known as Legionnaires disease, while registered as guests at hotel. The Plim Plaza, located on the Boardwalk at Second Street, voluntarily relocated guests and closed the hotel.

Samples have been taken from water sources in the building are being cultured at a Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene lab. Preliminary results do suggest the presence of Legionella bacteria in the hotel water but final culture results are not expected until the end of next week, according to the DHMH.

Symptoms of Legionnaires disease, which typically show up between two and 14 days after exposure to the bacteria, include a high fever, cough and shortness of breath. People who visited the Plim Plaza Hotel after Sept. 1, 2011, and have these symptoms should contact their health care provider, according to the DHMH.

Original article from: delmarvanow.com

Rhode Island Hospital finds lack of testing for Legionella

Current recommendations for testing missed 41 percent of cases

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A new study from Rhode Island Hospital shows that guidelines concerning testing patients for possible community-acquired pneumonia due to Legionella may underestimate the number of cases being seen by clinicians. The study found that if testing was only done in patients felt to be at increased risk of Legionnaires’ disease based on such guidelines, more than 40 percent of Legionella cases could be missed based on this single-center study. The researchers suggest more widespread testing for Legionella in patients admitted to hospitals with pneumonia. The study is published in BMC Infectious Diseases and is now available online in advance of print.

Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, a dangerous and potentially fatal infectious disease. In the Infectious Diseases Society of American (IDSA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) community-acquired pneumonia guidelines, testing for the urine antigen of Legionella is recommended for patients with any of the following: severe pneumonia requiring intensive care unit admission, failure of outpatient antibiotics, active alcohol abuse, history of travel within previous two weeks, or pleural effusion.

Leonard Mermel, DO, medical director of the epidemiology and infection control department at Rhode Island Hospital, is the senior author of this retrospective study that identified nearly 4,000 patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of pneumonia in an 18-month period. Of those patients, 35 percent had a Legionella urine antigen testing or had a Legionella culture performed. In addition, 44 percent of patients who had a bronchoscopy had a specimen sent for Legionella culture and/or had Legionella urine antigen testing. Of the patients with pneumonia due to Legionella, only 22 percent met the IDSA/ATC criteria recommending Legionella testing.

Mermel says, “This single-center study suggests that current recommendations for Legionella testing will result in missed cases. More widespread testing will identify additional cases allowing focused antimicrobial therapy and will alert public health officials of such Legionella cases”.

Co-author Brian Hollenbeck, M.D., adds, “Legionella is a severe cause of community- and hospital-acquired pneumonias. We hope that this study will raise awareness of the need for more comprehensive Legionella testing in patients who are hospitalized with pneumonia.”

Other researchers in the study with Mermel include Brian Hollenbeck, M.D., and Irene Dupont, RN, BSN, both of Rhode Island Hospital. Mermel’s principal affiliation is Rhode Island Hospital, a member hospital of the Lifespan health system in Rhode Island, and direct financial and infrastructure support for this project was received through the Lifespan Office of Research Administration. The researcher also has an academic appointment at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Mermel’s lab is fully supported by Rhode Island Hospital and the Lifespan health system. Mermel is also a physician with University Medicine (www.umfmed.org) a non-profit, multi-specialty medical group practice employing many of the full-time faculty of the department of medicine of the Alpert Medical School.

About Rhode Island Hospital

Founded in 1863, Rhode Island Hospital (www.rhodeislandhospital.org) in Providence, R.I., is a private, not-for-profit hospital and is the principal teaching hospital of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. A major trauma center for southeastern New England, the hospital is dedicated to being on the cutting edge of medicine and research. The hospital receives nearly $50 million each year in external research funding and is home to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, the state’s only facility dedicated to pediatric care. It is a founding member of the Lifespan health system.

Original article from EurekaAlert.org

Athens County has two cases of Legionnaire’s disease

September 20, 2011 – An Athens County health official on Tuesday confirmed that within the last week, two cases of Legionnaire’s disease have been diagnosed at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens.

One case reportedly involves a graduate student at Ohio University; the other, an out-of-county resident who apparently just came to O’Bleness as the nearest available hospital.

“We’re looking at this very closely,” said Chuck Hammer, administrator of the Athens City-County Health Department. “We’ve been aware of this since late last week.”

OU spokeswoman Jennifer Krisch confirmed Tuesday morning that “Yes, we have a graduate student with a confirmed case of Legionnaire’s disease.” She referred questions about the case to the Health Department.

In an internal OU e-mail obtained by The Athens NEWS, Steven Ross, director of the university’s School of Film, advised people in his department Sunday that a graduate student in that department had been taken ill the previous week and diagnosed with Legionnaire’s Disease at O’Bleness.

According to the email message, the graduate student, who is from New York, was transferred to a Columbus hospital.

Calls to the Columbus hospital seeking information on the student’s condition were not returned by the time this story was posted Tuesday.

Legionnaire’s disease is an acute respiratory infection caused by the Legionella bacteria.

According to Hammer of the Health Department, it is typically spread not from person to person, but though an infected shared water supply such as a hot tub, sprinkler system or air conditioner.

Hammer stressed that the disease poses a threat mainly to vulnerable populations such as the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.

“Generally speaking, Legionnaire’s disease can be quite mild,” he said.

Hammer said that state health officials have been informed of the two recent Athens County cases, and that investigators are working to try to find out if the two people diagnosed with the disease have any overlapping recent history, to suggest where they might have picked up the bacterium.

“There’s a little detective work that goes on,” he explained. Just because the two cases were both diagnosed in Athens County, he said, does not necessarily mean the source of the infection is here.

“There are a couple of cases of Legionella (locally), but we don’t know where they originated,” he said.

Hammer said he has heard from state health officials that there has been a “small uptick” in reports of Legionnaire’s disease across Ohio recently.

Ohio Department of Health spokesperson Tessie Pollock confirmed that a number of cases of Legionnaire’s disease are currently under investigation statewide, but added that these do not appear to be connected.

“So far, there is no indication of there being an outbreak,” Pollock said.

Original article from Athens News

Second Pa. care home hit by Legionnaires’ disease

TURTLE CREEK, Pa. (AP) — Health officials now say at least 10 cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been discovered at a pair of care facilities in western Pennsylvania.

The Allegheny County Health Department said Wednesday at least two people have been sickened at the Hamilton Hills Personal Care Facility in Turtle Creek. That’s in addition to eight cases at the nearby LGAR Health & Rehabilitation Center.

No fatalities have been reported related to the outbreak but three people had to be hospitalized with pneumonia-like symptoms. Health officials say they’re treating the water supplies at both facilities, although the cause of the outbreak remains unknown.

The health department said previously the bacteria can sometimes occur when facilities install systems that prevent hot water from scalding people.

Original article at: FortWayne.com