Work carried out at QEQM Hospital after patient contracts Legionnaires disease

QEQM hospital

Work is being carried out on water pipes and taps at a ward in QEQM Hospital in Margate after a patient contracted Legionnaires disease.

The man was diagnosed with Legionella pneumonia in September.

Legionella pneumophilais a bacteria that is transmitted in water.It causes pneumonia or a flu-like illness and, if untreated, can be fatal.

The East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust (Ekhuft) which is responsible for hospitals including QEQM  says all patients who may have been exposed to the bacteria have been identified and there are no other cases.

A spokesman said: “One patient admitted to the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM) Margate, was diagnosed with Legionella pneumonia in September. We have identified all patients who may have been exposed, and there have been no further cases.

“Legionella pneumophila is transmitted in water and can cause pneumonia or a flu-like illness. The incidence of Legionnaires’ disease depends upon the degree of water reservoir contamination, the intensity of a person’s exposure to that water, and the susceptibility of the person. The most common route of transmission is through ‘aerosolisation’ from water outlets such as shower heads.

“The Trust routinely monitors the hospital water systems, and showers in the hospital wing where the patient was admitted have had special filters fitted for over a year, specifically to guard against the infection.

“We have tested this wing of the hospital extensively and are undertaking some remedial work where necessary, such as removing any redundant pipework and replacing some taps. Hyperchlorination will also be carried out when the work is complete.”

How do you get Legionnaires disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by Legionella bacteria infecting your lungs. It’s usually caught by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water. The infection isn’t contagious and can’t be spread directly from person to person.
Where do you get Legionnaires disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria. You usually get it by breathing in mist from water that contains the bacteria. The mist may come from hot tubs, showers, or air-conditioning units for large buildings.
Can Legionnaires disease be cured?
Most people get legionnaires’ disease from inhaling the bacteria. … Pontiac fever usually clears on its own, but untreated legionnaires’ disease can be fatal. Although prompt treatment with antibiotics usually cures legionnaires’disease, some people continue to experience problems after treatment. The most common are fatigue and lack of energy for several months.