Health officials have found the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease in the water distribution system of Spectrum Health’s Pennock Hospital in Hastings, MI where two cases of the pneumonia-like illness have been reported in recent months. One of those patients, a 92-year-old man, has died.
Senior citizens are in a high-risk group for Legionnaires’ disease, according to Brendan Flaherty a leader of the Pritzker Hageman Legionnaires’ Disease Team. These Legionnaires’ disease lawyers represent clients who have been sickened and families who have lost loved ones in Legionnaires’ disease wrongful death lawsuits.
Legionella Bacteria at Pennock Hospital
Spectrum Health Pennock began sampling its water supply on December 18, 2018, after a second patient at the hospital was confirmed to have Legionnaire’s disease, according to the Barry-Eaton District Health Department. Results of those tests confirmed the presence of Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease on December 26, 2018.
Since that time, the hospital has begun testing other patients for Legionnaires’ disease and taken steps to protect its patient population from the risk of illness such as using alternative water sources and water filtration.
Legionnaires’ disease is not spread through person-to-person contact. Instead, it is spread when people inhale water vapor that is contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include headache, high fever, muscle aches, cough and shortness of breath. Most people with Legionnaires’ disease need hospitalization. About 10 percent of cases are fatal.