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Butler VA Center Water System Tests Positive for Bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease


The bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease has been found in the water at one building at the VA Butler Healthcare facility.  

Legionella bacteria was found in Building Two on the campus after the hospital’s routine testing and monitoring of the water system. As a result, VA Butler Healthcare has shut down the water system to Building Two and has implemented contingency plans for water and hand sanitization.

The Building Two water system will also be treated and re-tested. In an e-mail, a hospital spokeswoman said the contingency plan will remain in place for Building Two until tests results are negative.  Services in that building include outpatient rehabilitation, physical therapy, and prosthetics.

There have been no cases of Legionnaire’s disease as a result of the bacteria, and clinical care at VA Butler will continue uninterrupted.

This finding comes as officials with Pittsburgh's Veterans Affairs hospitals are still investigating an outbreak earlier this fall that sickened at least five patients at its University Drive hospital, one of whom died. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies are investigating that outbreak.

Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia, which can’t be transmitted person-to-person, the Legionella bacteria has to be inhaled.