Legionella found in water at Mount Carmel College of Nursing building

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Levels of legionella bacteria were detected recently in the water system of the Mount Carmel College of Nursing, which is on the Franklinton campus where the now closed hospital was located.

But there have been no cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported, said Samantha Irons, a spokeswoman for Mount Carmel Health System.

The health system proactively decided to test the water sources at the Franklinton campus, Irons said, because of water disruptions due to construction.

Legionella bacteria were found in Marian Hall, the location of the nursing campus. The water system has undergone disinfection and temporary filters were installed on hot water fixtures.

“We will continue testing the hot water, and once we are satisfied with the results, we will remove the temporary filters. We also tested water sources at other sites on our Franklinton campus and these sites are completely safe,” Irons said in a statement.

Mount Carmel Health System encountered issues with Legionnaires’ disease at its new Grove City Hospital, which opened in April. In late May and June, there were at least 16 people diagnosed with the disease and one of the patients, Deanna Rezes, 75, of Grove City, died on June 2.

At least seven lawsuits were filed against Mount Carmel Health Systems by people who contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

Outbreaks most commonly occur in buildings with complex water systems, including hotels, hospitals and nursing homes. The bacteria that cause the disease can be contracted by breathing in small water droplets. The pneumonia-like symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches.

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