Outbreak of Legionnaires’ blamed on hot water system

Ohio

GROVE CITY, Ohio (AP) – An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a newly opened hospital outside Columbus has been traced to its hot water system.

The health department said at least 16 patients admitted to the 210-bed Mount Carmel Grove City hospital after its opening April 28 have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’. The disease is a severe form of pneumonia that’s caused by inhaling tiny water droplets containing the legionella bacteria. One of the patients, a 75-year-old woman, died.

Hospital president Sean McKibben said in a statement Thursday that the disease outbreak happened because of inadequate disinfection of the hot water system prior to the hospital’s opening.

He said a permanent supplemental disinfection system with constant monitoring and controls has been installed.

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