By Brenda Waters

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh VA is dealing with Legionella once again, after three faucets at one of its hospitals tested positive for the bacteria.

“Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our veterans,” said Dr. Brooke Decker, Director of Infection Prevention.
The shower in the patient room tested positive Tuesday. The two sinks tested positive Thursday.

“As part of our investigation of the three cases that we discovered in September, we took a lot of environmental samples, somewhere around 403 of those have been come back positive for Legionella,” said Decker, “one of those with the type of legionella that causes disease in patients.”

The single patient shower was near a room where a patient was diagnosed with legionella last month.

Decker says the VA tests for legionella often and randomly.

“Finding any positives is what we expect when we test,” she said. “Water is not sterile and legionella bacteria loves water.”

Legionella seems to love the water at the Oakland facility, where all the cases have been found since 2011.

“That is our acute care hospital,” said Decker. “And that is where people who are sick with a condition like pneumonia go.”

Rep. Tim Murphy and other lawmakers have been outspoken about the Legionnaire’s outbreak since it was first uncovered.

“The next step is what are they doing about it?” Murphy said. “They have to continue to work on the water system all the time and make sure the system is purified with the mechanisms they have adapt with the newer devices etc., but continue to protect all patients first and foremost.”

Anyone with questions or issues concerning legionella at the Pittsburgh VA can call 412-360-1199.

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