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Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member got sick at Saint Elizabeth Manor, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation, or complete the following:

Two residents at Saint Elizabeth Manor in Bristol, Rhode Island, have been infected with Legionnaires’ disease, according to WPRI 12 News.

No further information was available on the conditions, ages or genders of the two sickened residents. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is investigating the outbreak.

Saint Elizabeth Manor has been placed on water restrictions. Officials said  point-of-use filters will be installed on all sinks and shower heads to prevent the spread of infection.

WPRI 12 News received a tip that the faucets inside Saint Elizabeth Manor were “taped up.” In addition, the station reported that employees were urging residents to avoid drinking water.

Residents, employees, and visitors to Saint Elizabeth Manor who have recently suffered from or are currently exhibiting pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms are being advised to seek immediate medical attention from their primary health-care provider.

Saint Elizabeth Manor: care facility

Saint Elizabeth Manor is a skilled nursing and rehab center. The facility has 133 beds, and it provides various levels of care, including: long-term care, short-term rehabilitative care, specialized care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and hospice care.

Two ill with Legionnaires' at Rhode Island's Saint Elizabeth Manor

Two residents at Saint Elizabeth Manor in Bristol, Rhode Island, have been infected with Legionnaires’ disease.

Saint Elizabeth Manor: Legionnaires’ FAQs

What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by the inhalation of Legionella bacteria. The disease is also known as legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia.

Legionnaires’ is similar to other types of pneumonia, which is an infection of the air sacs in one or both lungs that might produce fluid in the lungs.

Symptoms can resemble the flu and include:

  • shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • cough
  • fever
  • muscle pains
  • severe headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptom (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, etc.).

Who is most at risk?
Anyone can contract Legionnaires’ disease, but those most susceptible to infection include:

  • people 50 years old or older
  • smokers, both current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcohol
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with weakened immune systems
  • organ-transplant recipients
  • people on specific drug protocols (for instance, corticosteroids).

How prevalent is Legionnaires’ disease?
An estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.

In addition, 10 percent of those who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

How does Legionella infect a person?
Legionella are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of vapor or mist. The bacteria grow best in warm water, and they are found primarily in human-made environments.

Outbreaks have been linked to a number of sources, including:

  • cooling towers of air conditioning systems
  • large water systems (nursing homes, hospitals, hotels, etc.)
  • large plumbing systems
  • bathroom showers and faucets
  • hot water heaters and tanks
  • swimming pools, whirlpools, and hot tubs
  • physical-therapy equipment
  • mist machines (grocery store produce sections)
  • hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

Saint Elizabeth Manor: a deadly disease

The severity of the illness is illustrated in a new Epidemiology & Infection study from the University of Minnesota. Based on data from the CDC and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), “approximately 9 percent of legionellosis cases, caused by waterborne Legionella bacteria, are fatal, and 40 percent require intensive care.”

According to Laura Cooley, MD, MPH from the CDC’s Respiratory Diseases Branch, Legionnaires’ disease is “an emerging disease in the sense that the number of recorded cases of Legionnaires’ in the United States continues to increase.”

In a 2017 interview, Cooley said she believes the increase in reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease is because of an increase in the susceptibility of the population. That is, more and more people are on immunosuppressive medications.

In addition, she said there could be more Legionella in the environment thanks to climate change, with warmer temperatures creating the right conditions for bacterial growth.