Legionnaires' patient dies amid outbreak at new Ohio hospital

A patient diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease died at Mount Carmel Grove City (Ohio) hospital, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The hospital confirmed eight cases of the disease, incluidng the deceased patient.

The first patient who contracted the disease stayed at the newly opened hospital from April 29 to May 7, according to the Dispatch report, and five other patients stayed there between May 8 and May 20. The seventh case was confirmed May 31. The deceased patient has not been identified. The patient died June 2.

"Out of respect for the family's privacy and in keeping with patient privacy laws, we are not discussing the specifics and complexities of patient information. We can say that it's too early to determine the final cause of death," said Richard Streck, MD, chief clinical operations officer at Columbus-based Mount Carmel Health System, in a news release.

The hospital, which opened April 28, is working with county and state health officials to pinpoint the source of the bacteria. Legionella bacteria is found naturally in fresh water, such as in lakes and streams, but can grow and spread in complex man-made water systems, which is when it becomes a health concern, according to the CDC. One in 10 people who contract Legionnaires' disease will die.

"We've taken several steps to protect our patients, staff and visitors, including implementing extensive water restrictions," said Dr. Streck. "We are running additional tests on water sources throughout Mount Carmel Grove City, and our entire water supply is undergoing supplemental disinfection."

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