Legionnaires' Disease Hits Nursing Home Again

Measures geared toward safeguarding the Country Gardens Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Providence, R.I.) from Legionnaires' disease have failed to protect the building from the bacteria that spread the potentially fatal disease.

Improvements, which include special water-monitoring equipment and a new water-treatment system and were designed to stop Legionella before it could infect the water supply, cost more than $40,000 and

However, recent tests on the center's water supply detected the bacteria. This is the second time the Legionnella bacterium has surfaced at the center since it sickened four people during summer 2002.

Legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia that kills between 5 and 15 percent of the people who contract it, typically is caught by breathing contaminated air from devices such as cooling towers, showers and faucets.

The three residents at the Center who have pneumonia are being tested for Legionnaires' disease and so far have responded well to antibiotics, the Center reported.

In addition, the center has volunteered to pay the bill for any resident or employee who wants to be tested.

"We have contacted and are working with the Department of Health and the state epidemiology lab to ensure that all measures to manage and monitor this situation are implemented," a Country Gardens press release stated.

The Providence Journal

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