Legionnaire's scare down-played
Queensland health officials have confirmed that Legionella was found in the Hervey Bay Hospital water supply, but says there is a 'very low risk' of an outbreak.
Patients at the hospital are drinking bottled water and having sponge baths in water that is trucked-in, while awaiting the results of the latest round of testing.
A search for the potentially deadly bacteria was triggered after an autopsy located it in the lungs of an elderly man who died on April 20.
One source was eventually found in a water outlet in a hospital kitchenette on May 19.
It is unclear whether the man contracted the bacteria from the hospital, where he had been staying for about ten days.
The hospital flushed-out and disinfected its water supply late last week, and is waiting to receive new results next week.
Queensland Health Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young told News Corp reporters that the hospital responded quickly, and the risk to patient safety was low.
“’Legionnaires’ disease can only be caught through inhaling the bacteria so there is a very low risk of hospital acquired infection,” she said.