Employees at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Wash., are working to eliminate Legionella bacteria from the hospital’s water supply after a patient contracted Legionnaires’ disease — a virulent type of pneumonia — in December, according to a report from the Kitsap Sun.
After confirming the Legionnaires’ case, the Washington State Department of Health, Kitsap Public Health District and workers at the hospital conducted an investigation to determine the source of infection. Samples extracted from the hospital’s water system in January tested positive for Legionella. On Feb. 3, Kitsap health officials issued an order to the hospital to address the health risk. The order contained recommendations, which the hospital is following.
The hospital’s parent company, Tacoma, Wash.-based CHI Franciscan Health, issued a statement saying hospital staff, patients and visitors are being provided bottled water until the issue is resolved.
“CHI Franciscan Health and Harrison Medial Center implement rigorous safety protocols above and beyond government and industry standards to keep our patients and staff safe,” said David Schultz, market president of the Peninsula Region at CHI Franciscan Health, in a statement provided to Becker’s. “When we detected Legionella pneumophila, we immediately contacted county and state health authorities and began an investigation to find the source with an intention to eradicate it. There is no indication of any threat to the public or patients at Harrison.”
No additional cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported at the hospital.