It’s a bacterial disease that could cause pneumonia and the water at St. Ann’s in Rochester along with one of their residents have tested positive for it.
It’s called Legionnaires’ disease and it’s the first time in more than 25 years that the home has dealt with it.
News 10NBC is told that the one individual who was infected with Legionnaires has been treated and is fully recovered. Now the New York State Health Department is working closely with St. Ann’s home to develop a plan for making sure their water is safe again.
In the meantime, the home is only using bottled water for drinking and hygiene. The health department has supplied them with soap for bathing that doesn’t require water.
Medical Director Dr. Diane Kane said that per the recommendation of the health department, they are installing filters on all shower heads in the building to keep the bacteria out.
Dr. Kane can not say exactly when the resident learned he was infected with the disease but it is standard procedure with the health department that as soon as someone is infected, the water is tested.
St. Ann’s water supply tested positive for Legionnaires last Thursday.
The bacteria is actually very common and only causes problems in people with compromised immune systems but with the average age at St. Ann’s at 89, the at risk category includes almost everyone.
Dr. Kane said, “Just the word is scary to people but I think what we have to do is take a step back and put it in perspective. And by that I mean again it’s a ubiquitous organism quite honestly if you go out there and you test water and you test soil, guess what? You’re probably gonna find it and it’s not until someone comes down with Legionnaires’ disease that you go looking for it.”
Legionnaires is not a contagious disease. It is only contracted through direct exposure to the infected water.
Officials from St. Ann’s say that because the man who was infected frequently leaves the home on weekends to visit family and friends, they don’t know whether he was infected at St. Ann’s or somewhere else.
Original article at: WHEC.com