Health officials investigating cases of Legionnaires’ disease at Mercy Hospital

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating two cases of Legionnaires' disease in patients possibly exposed at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago.

Investigators were at the hospital Thursday; they tested the water system and collected samples.

The samples did test positive for legionella bacteria.

The health department said the general public is not at risk and the investigation is limited to Mercy Hospital at this time.

Mercy released a statement that said:

In the last 30 days, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center received a transfer patient who had previously been treated at two other Chicago healthcare facilities. The patient was discharged from Mercy in April with no indication of Legionella present.

Mercy Hospital and its patients are safe. The hospital has followed guidelines for safe water management set forth in the ASHRAE 188-2018 standard and the Centers for Disease Control toolkit for Legionella water management program.

We fully support investigations by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health to review of all the Chicago area facilities where the patient was treated.

Legionella bacteria occurs naturally in the environment, usually in water. It can lead to Legionnaires' disease, a serious lung infection that can be deadly.

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