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November 12, 2015: NY Hospital Lifts Some Water Restrictions Following Legionella Outbreak

Syracuse Legionella Outbreak Update

St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse, NY, announced today that water restrictions, implemented on October 24, 2015, in response to a Legionella outbreak and positive water testing results, have been lifted for most of the hospital. However, restrictions will continue in certain areas of the hospital.

The hospital also announced that there have been no new cases of hospital acquired Legionella pneumonia in the hospital in the past five weeks.
The hospital has implemented short and long-term strategies to address Legionella contamination including:

  • installation of highly specialized filters for faucets, showers and ice machines
  • additional treatment for hospital water
  • increasing water flow to help minimize the development of bacteria in low-flow areas
  • water testing to monitor all areas

On October 24, 20115, Dr. Sandra Sulik, Vice President for Medical Affairs, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center announced that preliminary testing of the hospital’s water supply identified potential Legionella. Regarding water restrictions she continued “As a precaution, we have restricted the use of tap water to hand washing only. Bottled water and ice are being delivered to all areas of the Hospital until further notice. This situation does not relate in any way to our air-handling system, and any potential concern is specifically limited to the tap water.”

However, the hospital was vague regarding to the timing, number, and status of persons infected with Legionella. As a result, issued an editorial calling for transparency in the interest of public health stating “When an institution faces the choice between good PR and public health – people’s well-being should never come second.” The editorial also reported that a total of four patients had been infected stating “..two patients in September and one in October had been diagnosed with Legionnaires’. Then this week, it [St. Joseph’s Hospital] reported a fourth patient had gotten the disease at the hospital in March.”

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The Weinberg Law Firm is currently assisting those injured by infections related to environmental contamination. For a free personal injury lawsuit evaluation, contact our law firm toll free at 1-877-934-6274. You can also contact our lawyers by submitting the online “Free Legal Evaluation Form” found on this page.

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