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San Quentin Prison Suffers Legionella Outbreak

San Quentin Prison

Yet another outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease has appeared, this time at??San Quentin Prison in San Francisco. Over 90 inmates are reporting pneumonia-like symptoms, a warning sign of Legionnaire’s Disease. Read the full article from the NY Times here.

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Death Toll Climbs at Illinois Veterans Home

Quincy IL

A Legionella outbreak in Western Illinois at a veteran’s home has??killed 8 people living at the home??and sickened 50. Local Quincy residents fear??the outbreak could??be more widespread??in the community. Read the full article from CBS here.

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Feds’ Policy Blunders Allow Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreaks

CDC logo

In the wake of several outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease across the U.S., the CDC is taking criticism for their policies regarding Legionella in a recent article from the Daily Caller.
Read the full article here.

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Legionnaire's Disease Claims Another Victim at Oakland VA Hospital in Pittsburgh

Oakland VA Hospital

Despite diligent monitoring and chemical-based treatments, another person has died from Legionnaires Disease at the VA Hospital in Oakland. While tests are being done to determine if the victim made contact with the bacteria at the VA campus, this case serves as another reminder of the importance of careful Legionella testing and control. Read the full article from TribLive here.

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CDC Director Testifies Before Subcommittee

CDC logo

???We missed the broader pattern.???

CDC Director Thomas Frieden acknowledged the CDC???s historically flawed reactive approach to handling anthrax and H5N1 bird flu last week before the subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Their attitude on these bacteria is comparable to their approach with Legionella, which is solely reactive as well.

The CDC only recommends testing a building???s water for Legionella after an outbreak has occurred, a stance for which they have been highly criticized. Proactive testing could have prevented several outbreaks of Legionella across the country, manifesting in several fatalities in numerous states including Pennsylvania, Chicago, and Ohio. Legionella is not transferred person-to-person like other pneumonias and is exclusively contracted from environmental sources. ?? The bacteria can be found in almost every corner of the world and can grow in just about any type of building. Since its discovery in 1976, over 900,000 cases of Legionella have been documented.??For this reason, many experts have been highly critical of the CDC???s ???test-after??? approach, as testing a building???s water is the only way to determine if Legionella bacteria are present in the water.

Director Frieden is reviewing the CDC???s approach, and said at a press conference in regard to their past mishaps with other bacteria, ???Events like this should never happen, and that???s why I will do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like this happens again.???

You can read the full article published on Forbes here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2014/07/22/cdc-errs-in-policy-as-well-as-handling-dangerous-pathogens/

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How Legionnaires' Disease is diagnosed

doctor-diagnosing-cough

In many cases, Legionnaires’ Disease is diagnosed through the use of chest x-rays or by clinical diagnosis.??The most commonly used laboratory test for diagnosis is the urinary antigen test, which detects Legionella bacteria from a urine sample.

If the patient tests positive for pneumonia, then the patient is treated as though he or she has Legionnaires’ Disease.?? Additionally, if the Legionella bacteria are cultured from a lung biopsy specimen or from respiratory secretions, the diagnosis of Legionnaires’ Disease is also considered confirmed.

Another way Legionnaires’ Disease is diagnosed is by collecting blood specimens to determine if a specific increase in antibody levels has occurred after symptoms of illness develop.