Legionnaires' case confirmed at DC VA hospital

A patient at the Washington DC VA Medical Center was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease Sept. 2, reports The Washington Post.

Hospital officials immediately tested the facility's water and said it was unclear whether the patient had been infected at the facility. 

"Legionella is a common and persistent problem worldwide and in no way limited to the Washington DC VA Medical Center," the hospital said in a statement cited by The Post. For this reason, the hospital has a "robust water safety program," the statement continued.

As a precaution, the medical center flushed and heated its water system to eliminate any presence of Legionella bacteria. 

After identifying the case, patients and staff members were told to avoid using the facility's water for drinking, showering or hand-washing. The hospital handed out hand sanitizer, bottled water and packaged wipes for bathing while the water was unavailable.

The medical center resumed normal operations Sept. 3. Hospital officials said they will continue testing the water system and monitoring patients for signs of infection.

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