Pritzker Hageman law firm is investigating a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus. Contact our Legionnaires’ disease lawyers toll-free at 1(888) 377-8900 or reach us online for a free consultation about your illness.

Columbus VA Legionnaires’ Outbreak

Five veterans who were receiving treatment at the Columbus VA have developed symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease. Two of them have confirmed cases and three others who are symptomatic have suspected cases. Water fountains and ice makers at the facility have been shut down while health officials await results of tests for Legionella bacteria in the water.

About 2,000 veterans visit the clinic each day.  Bottled water is being provided to employees and visitors while the outbreak is being investigated.

What is Legionnaires’ Disease and How is it Spread?

Legionella Bacteria Test
Legionella Bacteria Test

Legionnaires’ Disease is a severe form of pneumonia that is spread when water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria are inhaled. It is not transmitted through person-to-person contact. Common sources of outbreaks include hot tubs, spas fountains; and the cooling towers, hot water tanks and plumbing or air-conditioning systems of large buildings.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches,
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath.

Symptoms usually develop within two weeks of exposure to bacteria and last about seven days. Treatment with antibiotics is required, hospitalization is often required. Those at elevated risk for Legionnaires’ disease include people over 50 and those with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems.

Anyone who has been to the Columbus VA and develops these symptoms should see a doctor and mention exposure to legionella bacteria.