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11 patients diagnosed with Legionnaire's disease at UW Hospital



 11 patients diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease at UW Hospital Copyright 2018 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved.

MADISON, Wis. – Eleven UW Hospital has been diagnosed with Legionnaire's disease after UW Health announced that the hot water system could have put patients at risk.

Legionnaire's disease, a type of pneumonia, is caused by bacteria in the water.

The hospital uses a hyperchlorination process to flush it. Tests have shown the process was effective, and there is a reduction in the bacteria. The hospital is continuing to monitor bacteria levels.

"Our commitment to the safety of our patients is unavering," said John Marx, UW Health's senior infection control practice specialist.

Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease can be present for up to 14 days after exposure, but typically onset within about six days.

In total, the hospital has identified 11 cases of developing pneumonia, according to a news release from UW Health Friday. UW Hospital, and have been or are being treated at outpatient facilities. One person, who had been hospitalized for serious health conditions, last week.

UW Health is working closely with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health for support in additional testing efforts. Hospital officials also have the Centers for Disease Control to serve as an additional independent verification safety system.

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