Legionella found in Queensland Hospital

Legionella found in Queensland hospital

LEGIONELLA bacteria has been detected at a rural south-west Queensland hospital during routine water testing.

Queensland Health announced today that a positive result for Legionella bacteria had been returned during testing at Cunnamulla Hospital.

The affected areas have been isolated with the system to be flushed clean and affected taps and showerheads to be replaced.

South West Hospital and Health Service Chief Operations Officer Meryl Brumpton said action was taken immediately after the positive test result was returned yesterday.

Testing was carried out on June 30.

“We will be hyper-chlorinating the water system and replacing the affected tap ware, comprising two showerheads and three taps, according to standard protocols for removing the Legionella bacteria,’’ she said.

“Once the water system had been cleansed and tapware replaced, the affected areas will be retested.”

She said services at the hospital had not been affected and there ‘is no risk to any’ patients or staff.

“Inpatients will have access to areas that have not been impacted and they will be able to continue using these.’’

Legionella bacteria is commonly found in the environment.

“The risks for staff, patients and visitors are low as the Legionella bacteria must be inhaled in the form of water droplets to have any chance of being infectious,’’ Ms Brumpton said.

“Secondly, it is generally only those that are particularly vulnerable, sick or immune-compromised who are susceptible to infection.’’

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