PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Water cultured from two tanks at Allegheny General Hospital are positive for Legionella bacteria, the microbes that cause a severe kind of pneumonia known as Legionaire’s disease.
This was found during an unscheduled evaluation…prompted by a cancer patient testing positive for the bacteria.READ MORE: 'We Feel There Is Enough Evidence:' Family Of Codi Joyce Calling For Grand Jury In Their Son's Death
“It’s something we do routinely, we also do it on occasion when we feel there is an increased need,” explains Dr. Sam Reynolds, the chief quality officer for the Allegheny Health Network.
The bacteria occur naturally in the environment. People with suppressed immune systems are at risk.
This instance is not thought to be a hospital-acquired infection.
The patient was admitted for treatment, but no word on how the patient is doing now. No other patients have tested positive.READ MORE: Duquesne University Extends President Dr. Ken Gormley's Contract
Legionaire’s disease does not spread person-to-person. You get it by inhaling mist contaminated with the bacteria.
Out of an abundance of caution, the hospital is having patients use bottled water, even though you don’t get the illness by drinking.
The affected tanks provide water to floors four through twelve. The operating rooms and cafeteria are below that, and are not affected.
“Business as usual for those kind of things, because it’s really such a low risk,” says Dr. Reynolds.
The water tanks are being treated.MORE NEWS: Seaplane Lands On Allegheny River Outside Of Heinz Field
“We did the treatment last evening of the water tank, and we will retest the water tank today, to make sure it is clear,” Dr. Reynolds adds. “It takes about a week for those cultures to come back. So in the meantime, we will continue to offer bottled water.”