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Routine Testing Uncovers Legionnaire’s At Butler VA

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Ross Guidotti Ross Guidotti
Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate Ross Guidotti joined KDKA-TV...
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BUTLER (KDKA) – There are new concerns about Legionnaire’s disease after a recent water test at the Butler VA Hospital.

So far, no one has been reported as sick from the tainted water, but thousands of veterans from six counties rely on the services provided by the facility.

According to a memo, only one sample of Legionella bacteria was found at a building on the campus.

Sources indicate that Director John Bennaro sent an e-mail to employees saying the water had been shut off to Building 2 on the campus.

The email said, “A positive test of Legionella bacteria was identified from one water sample taken in building No. 2.”

“I feel this is a disappointment to the veterans that we’re going to lose this, but more importantly, it appears that the Butler VA is on top of the situation. They are handling the situation the right way and I feel very confident that this will have a happy ending for everyone concerned,” John Prichard of the American Legion said.

The memo goes on to say that portable water and alternative hand sanitation methods will be supplied to staff and veterans who utilize the building. The memo said this is all a result of preventative testing and monitoring of the campus water system.

This news comes after the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed five cases of Legionnaire’s disease originated at the VA Pittsburgh facility and one person died.

There have been 24 cases reported at the facility since January of 2011.

“I think the Butler VA has learned the lessons from other incidents,” Prichard said.

Tests at all other buildings at the Butler VA campus were negative and there is no word when the water service will be restored to the affected building.

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