MADISON, Wis. – Afternoon afternoon hospital of Wisconsin University claims to be taking measures to address the suspected risk for patients associated with the hospital's hot water system.
UW said that three former hospitalized patients and one hospitalized had developed a legionary disease, also called legionellosis, a type of pneumonia.
On Wednesday afternoon, the hospital will carry out the "hyperchlorination" process, which will flush all the hot water piping in the building to exclude all Legionella bacteria. The hospital also informed affected patients and staff of the situation.
According to the issue, Legionnaires are caused by bacteria that are typically present in low concentrations in drinking water. UW has said it is using a water treatment system that is designed to maintain levels low, but "recent adjustments to this system could jeopardize its function," hospital officials said.
Tests at some units in the hospital have recently shown elevated levels, the report said.
The four patients who developed legionary symptoms were tested and all four tested positively on the urine test. All four tests were performed over the last 10 days. The hospital has said that testing is being carried out to determine whether the bacteria are related to the hospital's water system.
The risk comes only from hot water in the form of air droplets like water in a hot shower, said hospital officials. Cold water from the water supply does not pose a risk. Healthy patients who can induce water droplets with bacteria are at a low risk. People at higher risk are patients 50 years of age or older and patients with pulmonary or impaired immune system.
When the hospital learned of four legionary patients, the officials stopped using hospital showers. This stop is expected to continue sometime early on Thursday.
The hospital monitors water normally and whenever a patient suspects that he has a legionnaire. "Until now, no Legionella cases have been taken in the University Hospital for 23 years.
The American Family Children's Hospital is not affected. Two out of four patients were discharged from the hospital; the other two remain hospitalized.
Since Wednesday afternoon, no more cases of Legionnaires have been identified, the hospital said.
UW has said she is also entrusted with the Wisconsin State Health Service and will be informed that further information will be available.
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