Precautions taken at Columbus VA clinic after veterans diagnosed with legionnaires

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Major precautions are being taken inside the Columbus VA ambulatory care center right now.

Staff closed all water fountains at the outpatient clinic while officials continue to test for Legionella.  This comes after doctors diagnosed two veterans with the legionnaires, but a total of five have the symptoms.

According to the CDC legionnaires disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. People get sick when they breathe in a mist or accidentally swallow water into the lungs containing Legionella.

A spokesperson with the center says doctors diagnosed one of the patients at Mount Carmel East, where they’re being treated now.  Doctors diagnosed the other inside of the VA’s urgent care center and that person is home right now.

VA officials tell us the Franklin County Health Department and Columbus Public Health have seen an increase in cases of Legionella over the past two weeks.  The city health department has seen 20 cases in the month of June and a total of 40 for this year.

The county health department says it’s seen 15 cases for June, which they say is not unusual considering rainier months generate a larger number of cases.


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