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Spokane hospital traces Legionnaires' Disease outbreak

The Spokesman-Review, May 2, 2011

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA is restricting showers, serving bottled water and replacing parts of its water system after three patients tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease. The first patient, an elderly man with a weakened immune system, died. Dr. Jeff Collins, chief medical officer of Sacred Heart, said the bacterial infection has not been blamed for his death. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested the hospital's water system last week and found bacteria clusters, according to preliminary findings. Sacred Heart Chief Executive Officer Elaine Couture said Thursday that the hospital had already cleaned some of its tanks and was preparing to disinfect the rest of its system as early as Monday. "We're going to ensure the safety of our patients," she said. Two of the patients were found in January to have legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires'.