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Two cases of Legionnaires' disease on OMC Jefferson Highway



Ochsner Health System announced on Friday that two OMC Jefferson Highway patients were diagnosed with Legionella pneumonia, also known as Legionnaires' disease. Legionella pneumonia is a type of pneumonia lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria, according to Ochsner Health System. Hospital officials say the two cases are considered isolated. The hospital also claims that the cases have not been confirmed to have been obtained from OMC Jefferson Highway. According to the hospital, Legionella bacteria rarely, if ever, are transmitted from person to person and most people exposed to Legionella do not develop Legionella pneumonia. People with weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease or other chronic health conditions, as well as smokers and the elderly, are at higher risk if exposed, which may exacerbate existing complex health problems. Legionnaire pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics and most affected people can expect a full recovery. Studies of these types of Legionella pneumonia cases are complex. It is often not possible to determine the origin of the bacteria that infect humans, according to the hospital. The hospital said it was met with great care that the following steps were being taken: Extensive water tests are currently underway across the OMC Jefferson Highway and will continue for at least one year. We routinely test it as part of our water management plan. We implement a reaction plan to eliminate any bacterial strains that may be in our aquatic system. The rooms in which these patients were cared for were decommissioned. We increase our mechanical water delivery systems when appropriate. Our infection prevention department will evaluate all patients at risk of pneumonia for Legionella and recommend additional tests when appropriate for physicians. We also partner closely with the Public Health Service for their expertise and resources. More information can be found here.

Ochsner Health System announced Friday that two OMC Jefferson Highway patients have been diagnosed with Legionella pneumonia, also known as Legionnaires disease.

Legionella pneumonia is a type of pneumonia lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria, according to the Ochsner Health System.

Hospital officials say the two cases are considered isolated. The hospital also claims that the cases have not been confirmed to have been obtained from OMC Jefferson Highway.

According to the hospital, Legionella bacteria rarely, if at all, are transmitted from person to person, and most people exposed to Legionella do not develop Legionella pneumonia. People with weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease or other chronic health conditions, as well as smokers and the elderly, are at higher risk if exposed, which may exacerbate existing complex health problems. Legionnaire pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics and most affected people can expect a full recovery.

Studies of these types of Legionella pneumonia cases are complex. It is often not possible to determine the origin of the bacteria that infect humans, according to the hospital.

The hospital said that with great care, the following steps are being taken:

  • Extensive water tests are currently being conducted throughout OMC Jefferson Highway and will continue for at least one year. We routinely test it as part of our water management plan.
  • We are implementing a response plan to eliminate any bacterial strains that may be in our aquatic system.
  • The rooms in which these patients were cared for were decommissioned.
  • We expand our mechanical water supply systems when appropriate.
  • Our infection prevention department will evaluate all patients at risk of pneumonia for Legionella and will recommend additional tests, where appropriate for physicians.
  • We also partner closely with the Public Health Service for their experience and resources.

More information can be found here.


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