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Legionella bacteria resurfaces at West Virginia hospital

September 14, 2021 GMT

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Tests show bacteria that causes the severe form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease has resurfaced at a West Virginia-run hospital, health officials said.

Routine screening found Legionella bacteria at the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington. The hospital is operated by the state Department of Health and Human Resources. The building where the bacteria was detected did not house patients.

In April the hospital replaced all faucets and a hot water heater and installed a recirculation pump after the bacteria first was detected in two sinks in the hospital’s administration building.

The bacteria in the latest tests was found in the same places as in April: a CEO restroom and a former human resources break room in a basement, the DHHR said in a news release.

Legionnaire’s disease can be dangerous to people with lung or immune system problems. It is spread by inhaling droplets from contaminated water sources. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.