A fifth patient has been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease at the University of Washington Medical Center and, in an unrelated case, a patient was confirmed to have the disease at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue.
A fifth patient has been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease at the University of Washington Medical Center, days after health officials said the deadly outbreak appeared to be contained.
Meanwhile, a patient at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue was diagnosed Friday with the disease, a serious form of pneumonia. The cases aren’t connected, King County health officials said Monday.
In the UW Medicine case, a woman in her 50s was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease Sunday, said Dr. Jeff Duchin, county health officer. She is in satisfactory condition.
Worried about Legionnaires’ disease?
UW Medical Center officials have set up a Legionella pneumonia information line at 855- 520-2252. It includes general information, options for more details and for health-care providers. Patients, family members and members of the public can call, too.
The woman had been admitted to the hospital in late August and returned in mid-September, after the hospital had implemented restrictions on water use on Sept. 13.
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“At this time, we do not know if the patient was exposed during a hospitalization in early September, as an outpatient following discharge, or upon readmission,” UW Medicine officials said in a statement Monday.
The woman was also in the hospital when the water restrictions were lifted Sept. 20, indicating there’s a chance the Legionella bacteria that cause the disease have not been eradicated.
“It’s a possibility that there will need to be more steps taken,” Duchin said.
“If we find Legionella in the water again, yes, more aggressive steps will need to be taken.”
The hospital has installed filters on faucets and flushed the water system with chlorine Sept. 19 and 20. Hospital officials didn’t respond to questions about whether the water restrictions were back in place.
Investigators are awaiting new tests of water in the Cascade Tower at UW Medical Center, where all the cases have occurred. Four other patients have been infected in the outbreak, including two who died.
At Overlake Hospital Medical Center, the diagnosis in the patient, a man in his 60s, was confirmed Friday, officials said. The man has an underlying medical condition that puts him at higher risk of infection. He is recovering, officials said.
It appears the patient’s exposure occurred while he was in the hospital. An investigation has begun.