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Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease at South Whitehall Township Outpatient Facility

This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an advisory asking doctors to be on the lookout for patients who may have developed Legionnaires’ disease after visiting the Integrated Health Campus in South Whitehall Township.

According to an article on McCall.com, 6 cases of the disease, also called legionellosis, have been linked to the facility on Cetronia Road. Doctors should be alert for pneumonia-like symptoms among patients who may have visited the facility within 2 weeks of their illness.

The investigation into the incident focused on a decorative fountain located in the facility’s lobby. Remediation has been performed on the heath campus water system, which involved shutting down and draining the fountain, as well as sanitizing the facility’s drinking water system. As a result, the health department has cleared the campus to continue business as usual.

Legionnaires’ disease is a reportable disease in Pennsylvania, and health care providers are required to report it to the Department of Health within 24 hours. Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, can be found in various places in the environment.

Anyone who may have visited the facility and suspects they may have symptoms should consult with their doctor as soon as possible.

Legionnaire’s disease gets it name from a fatal outbreak that took place in 1976 during an American Legion convention in a Philadelphia hotel, where over 200 people were infected and 34 died from the disease.