Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak at a Long-Term Care Facility Caused by a Cooling Tower Using an Automated Disinfection System--Ohio, 2013

Celia Quinn, Alicia Demirjian, Louise F.rancois Watkins, Sara Tomczyk, Claressa Lucas, Ellen Brown, Natalia Kozak-Muiznieks, Alvaro Benitez, Laurel E. Garrison, Jasen Kunz, Scott Brewer, Samantha Eitniear, Mary DiOrio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On July 9, 2013, an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease (LD) was identified at Long-Term Care Facility A in central Ohio. This article describes the investigation of the outbreak and identification of the outbreak source, a cooling tower using an automated biocide delivery system. In total, 39 outbreak LD cases were identified; among these, six patients died. Water samples from a cooling tower were positive for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, reactive to monoclonal antibody 2, with matching sequence type to a patient isolate. An electronic control system turned off cooling tower pumps during low-demand periods, preventing delivery of disinfectant by a timed-release system, and leading to amplification of Legionella in the cooling tower. Guidelines for tower maintenance should address optimal disinfection when using automated systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of environmental health
Volume78
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

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