Alabama Department of Public Health Confirms – Legionella outbreak was in Florence Nursing Facility

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Glenwood Healthcare – Site of Legionella outbreak

FLORENCE – The nursing facility on Ana Drive, Glenwood Nursing Home, has been confirmed to be the location where an outbreak of 13 confirmed and 10 suspected cases of  Legionnaires disease originated. There has been one death associated with the outbreak, according to official reports.

Here is the report from the Alabama Department of Public Health:

“The Alabama Department of Public Health continues to investigate a Legionella pneumonia outbreak in Florence, Ala. At this time, all known cases have been associated with Glenwood Nursing Home facility.

Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, reports that there are 13 patients with confirmed Legionella pneumonia.  Ten patients are suspected to have had Legionella pneumonia but test results on these patients are not back from the laboratory. One death from Legionella pneumonia is included in the 13 reported cases.  No new patients have been identified since Oct. 10. Dr. Landers states, “The health department continues to work very closely with the physicians and hospitals to find any new patients.”

The Glenwood facility remains open and operational, is cooperating fully with public health officials, and has performed recommended remediation steps although no water vapor generating sources have been identified at the facility at this time.

In the United States, cooling towers have been a frequent source of Legionella outbreaks. While there are currently no confirmed cultures from cooling towers in the vicinity of Glenwood, out of an abundance of caution, management at Regency Square Mall voluntarily turned theirs off.  Dr. Landers stated, “We appreciate their cooperation during this public health outbreak.”

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Glenwood Healthcare – Ana Drive in Florence

Legionella pneumonia is not transmitted from person to person. People get Legionella pneumonia when they breathe in a mist or vapor containing the bacteria. Most healthy people exposed to the germ do not become sick. People at higher risk for illness are those who are older than 50, are current or former smokers, have chronic lung problems such as COPD, have weak immune systems from cancer, diabetes or kidney failure, or are on chemotherapy.

Legionella pneumonia is caused by a germ that occurs naturally in the environment. The germ grows best in warm water. Some places where the germ can be found include hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, and decorative fountains. An example might be from breathing in droplets sprayed from a hot tub that has not been properly cleaned and disinfected.”

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