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Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Reported at Wisconsin Hospital

One person died and at least 10 others developed symptoms of Legionnaires disease at UW Health University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. The Director of Infection Control there says the outbreak is related to a reduction in waterflow at the facility during times of low usage.

December 10, 2018 – UW officials said on Friday that 4 of the patients remained hospitalized, while 6 were discharged or treated for Legionnaires at local outpatient facilities. One patient diagnosed with the infection at UW has subsequently died from complications, according to NBC 15.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has developed symptoms of Legionnaires disease, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.

What’s the Problem?

Dr. Nasia Safdar, Medical Director of Infection Control at UW Hospital, said the Legionnaires outbreak appears to be linked to a recent decision to reduce water flow at the facility during low-demand times, which can make the system more susceptible to bacterial pathogens. Regular flow has resumed since the infections were diagnosed, according to Safdar.

Additional cases of Legionnaires could be found by Wednesday, the day the incubation period officially ends, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Last week, UW Health University Hospital chlorinated its water system for the first time. The hospital is working with health officials to test the water and ensure it’s safe.

Legionnaires’ disease can be spread when people breathe in small water droplets containing the bacterium Legionella pneumophila, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings that have complex water systems (i.e. hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and cruise ships). Within these structures, the bacterium can thrive and become a problem when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems. Most healthy people do not become infected with Legionella bacteria after exposure, CDC said.

Do I Have a Legionnaires Lawsuit?

The Workplace and Environmental Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Legionnaires disease lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.

Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were diagnosed with a confirmed case of Legionnaires disease, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.

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