Legionella detected at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital

Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital
Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital(WSAZ)
Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 3:03 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As part of its routine annual water testing, Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital has detected Legionella in water from two sinks in the Administration Building, the West Virginia DHHR reports Tuesday.

The sinks are located in the CEO restroom on the second floor and the former Human Resources break room in the basement.

Approximately 30 employees will be moved from the Administration Building to work from another building or will work from home, if feasible.

No buildings where patients are located have been affected.

The hospital has begun the process of installing a new industrial hot water tank and plan to have the whole building tested. Appropriate federal and state agencies have been notified.

According to the CDC, Legionella bacteria are found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. The bacteria can become a health concern when they grow and spread in human-made building water systems like:

  • Showerheads and sink faucets
  • Cooling towers (structures that contain water and a fan as part of centralized air cooling systems for buildings or industrial processes)
  • Hot tubs
  • Decorative fountains and water features
  • Hot water tanks and heaters
  • Large, complex plumbing systems

Home and car air-conditioning units do not use water to cool the air, so they are not a risk for Legionella growth.

Legionella bacteria can cause a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) called Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella bacteria can also cause a less serious illness called Pontiac fever.

Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital is under the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources through its Office of Health Facilities.

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