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Two cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been linked to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, according to news reports.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) last Thursday that an out-of-state patient treated at the hospital in November had contracted the disease. The first case was reported in May, according to the IDPH.
When two or more cases of Legionnaires’ disease occur at a single site in a period of six months or more, they are categorized as “linked.” If the two cases had occurred within a six-month period, it would have been considered a Legionnaires’ disease “outbreak” or “cluster.”
IDPH officials said they are working with the hospital, the Chicago Department of Public Health and the CDC to ensure that the following protocols occur:
- providing guidance on what patients to test and when;
- reviewing all pneumonia cases that occurred on the floors where the two patients stayed;
- discuss flushing protocols on the floors where the two patients stayed;
- discuss expanding use of filters for shower heads and sink on the floors where the two patients stayed;
- reviewing environmental water testing logs and water sampling approaches.
Illinois’ top hospital
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is ranked No. 13 on the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll for 2017-18, the sixth consecutive year the hospital has made the prestigious honor roll.
Northwestern Memorial was ranked No. 1 in both the Chicago metro area and in the state of Illinois for the sixth consecutive year. It scored high in patient safety and demonstrating a commitment to reducing accidents and medical mistakes.
Legionnaires’ on rise in health-care facilities
The CDC this year released information from a new study of the U.S. health-care industry and found that 76 percent of the facilities studied in 2015 reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease.