BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) –Two out of eight patients who tested positive for the legionella bacteria have died at UAB, hospital officials confirm.
Legionella is a bacteria that can cause a form of pneumonia called legionellosis, or Legionaire’s disease, according to Dr. Loring Rue, UAB’s Chief Patient Safety and Clinical Effectiveness Officer.
After eight patients in the hematology/oncology unit tested positive for legionellosis, UAB Hospital implemented water restrictions in a section of the hospital on Saturday.
The bacteria was discovered in one unit that shares plumbing with two floors. So far, they have not found any new infections outside of that one unit.
The hospital installed filters on shower and faucet heads, flushed the water system and shocked it with extreme temperatures in an effort to make sure the water was safe, Rue said. They also asked patients to wear masks when flushing the toilet.