Hospital officials await results on possible second case of Legi - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hospital officials await results on possible second case of Legionnaires

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Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown. (WFSB photo) Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown. (WFSB photo)

State health officials said a patient at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown was diagnosed with Legionnaires disease and they're awaiting test results for a second possible case.

State Department of Public Health officials provided an update during a 1:30 p.m. news conference. 

The patient with the confirmed case is being treated at an unknown hospital and is said to be doing well.

The second suspected case is also being treated. The patient is a nurse who works at the facility. She is being treated for symptoms but it is not yet a confirmed case of Legionnaires.

The state Department of Health is working to confirm that it's indeed Legionnaires.

Both individuals were in Merritt Hall, which is being looked at as a possible source of contamination. 

"They have been in the same place at the same time in that building, now again it is not transmitted person-to-person more likely if that is the source. So it looks like they were in the same space at the same time," said Raul Pino, Commissioner of Dept. Of Health. 

Legionnella bacteria is typically found in either soil or water. It grows in water cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems and air conditioning systems. If it becomes airborne, experts said it cause a very serious pneumonia.

The Department of Health commissioner issued a statement this week.

"This is a serious disease, especially for individuals with pre-existing conditions," said Commissioner Pino. "However, it's not unusual to see cases of legionellosis in Connecticut."

Typically about 50 to 80 people a year are diagnosed with Legionnaires in Connecticut. It cannot be transmitted person-to-person.

CVH said that it is  trying to figure out the source and will continue to keep its patients and staff informed.

Health officials say Merritt Hall does not need to be evacuated because they are not certain it is the source. On Thursday, environmental specialists will examine the building and if necessary take action.

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