The Illinois Department of Public Health has launched an investigation after two individuals who were patients at the University of Chicago Medical Center were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
According to a press release, the IDPH is working with the Chicago Department of Public Health, and the hospital, to collect information and to test the facility’s water.
The hospital reported to public health officials that the test results it has collected have been negative for the Legionella bacteria, according to a press release from the IDPH.
“The University of Chicago Medical Center has a comprehensive water management program that follows the highest federal standards,” the hospital said in a statement. “Testing of hospital water has shown no evidence of Legionella growth. We are confident all our patients are safe.”
The hospital went on to say that both patients were only at their facility for a limited time during their “risk period,” and that tests conducted during their stays at the hospital were negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Legionnaires’ disease is contracted when a person breathes in mist or accidentally swallows water containing the bacteria. Most individuals exposed to the disease do not get sick, but people over 50, current or former smokers, and those with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of contracting the disease.
The lung infection is fatal in approximately 1-of-10 cases, according to CDC research.