Department of Health Lifts Ban on Use of Nursing Home's Water After Episode of Harmful Bacteria

Residents of one nursing home are once again allowed to bathe in and drink the nursing home’s water. The ban on using the facility's water was lifted on Tuesday, three months after two female residents of the county-run facility contacted Legionnaire’s disease. One of the woman died.

Legionnaires’ disease is a waterborne type of pneumonia caused by a bacteria usually found in water vapors given off by showers or air conditioning systems. The county Health Department banned showers and baths at the facility immediately after the two cases were identified — ordering sponge baths instead — and provided bottled drinking water for the 280 residents and all staff members at the facility.

Subsequent tests of the facility's hot water system were positive for the bacteria, called Legionella, in half of the samples. The system then was flushed, and follow-up tests showed the Legionella level had declined. Flushes of the facility's water system are to be repeated quarterly in order prevent a reappearance of the bacteria. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville,Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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