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Blame for Legionnaires' outbreak is widespread

April 30, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA — A report by the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General has found that systemic failures at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System allowed a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak to fester, even as leaders believed they were solving the problem, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The scathing report showed that the hospital system paid little attention to the importance water temperature plays in killing the deadly Legionella bacteria, the article stated.

According to the article, the report also indicated that no one from the facilities management team actively belonged to the infection control team, and local VA officials "failed to test some patients with pneumonia for Legionnaires' disease."

"The biggest deficiency that the VA made was a failure to protect the patient when they knew Legionella had re-entered the drinking water," said Legionella researcher Dr. Victor Yu.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that the outbreak lasted from February 2011 until November 2012, the article noted.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.