Legionella bacteria detected in water at Pennock Hospital in Hastings

Posted at 1:21 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 17:23:05-05

HASTINGS, Mich. - County health officials say that the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's Disease has been detected in the water supply at Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital in Hastings.

In a press release, county officials say that there have been two cases of Legionnaire's Disease at the hospital, with the most recent being identified in November. On December 18, hospital staff sampled the water supply at various locations around the facility. The hospital reported positive results for the Legionella bacteria to the Barry-Eaton District Health Department on Wednesday, December 26.

It is unknown if the two recent cases of Legionnaire's Disease at the hospital is connected to the Legionella found in the water supply.

Health department officials say that Legionnaire's Disease is a type of pneumonia or lung infection. It has about a 10% fatality rate and most people infected need to be hospitalized and treated with antibiotics. It cannot be spread from person to person, but is spread by breathing in water droplets that contain the Legionella bacteria.

The Legionella bacteria is most often found in manmade water systems, like those found in hospitals.  The hospital is using bottled water for now and will be adding filters to their water system. More tests will be done in coming days, until the water is clear.

Complete press conference below: