Published Date: 2002-08-08 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/EDR> Legionellosis - USA (Vermont)
Archive Number: 20020808.4989
LEGIONELLOSIS - USA (VERMONT)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 7 Aug 2002
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Boston.com / AP [7 Aug 2002 09:59 EST] [edited]
State confirms 7 people have Legionnaires'
Tests have confirmed that all 7 people suspected of suffering from
Legionnaires' disease have been infected, according to state health officials.
They are being treated at Central Vermont Medical Center in
Berlin. Officials still haven't found a link between the victims beyond
their ties to the Waterbury area.
"We are continuing to investigate whether there are connections among the 7
cases," Health Commissioner Dr. Jan Carney said. "We're also continuing to
do what we call active surveillance, to identify any other individuals who
may have the disease."
Carney said at least a dozen people who have had symptoms have been tested
and have been found to be negative for the disease. "We are calling this an
outbreak and that's why we're focusing very detailed attention on our
investigation," she said.
The incident began on Thu 1 Aug 2002, after a former inmate at the Dale
women's prison in Waterbury was diagnosed with the potentially fatal
respiratory illness. After investigators from the Vermont Health Department
began looking into other cases of pneumonia that had been identified in
central Vermont, 2 more victims were confirmed over the weekend and 4 more
possible cases discovered. All 7 have been confirmed and all have links to
the Waterbury, Vermont area.
Carney said her investigators were conducting extensive interviews with the
7, trying to establish any pattern that might reveal how they came down
with the disease. "We're looking at their home and work lives, medical
histories," she said. "We're looking at activities, hobbies. ... Whether or
not since these cases have occurred in the Waterbury area, are there any
connections between them?"
[Whether the diagnosis of legionellosis was confirmed by serologic methods
or by culture is not reported. To confirm that the cases are indeed all
related, comparing the individual isolates would be quite useful. The
point source in such an outbreak can be difficult to establish but is
usually linked to aerosols of water containing the ubiquitous pathogen such
as from air conditioners, cooling towers, whirlpools, and evaporative
condensers. One outbreak in the USA was linked to a grocery store's
ultrasonic mist machine used to keep fruits and vegetables moist. - Mod.LL]
[One wonders if they've checked the prison water system, and whether all of
the cases have either visited or passed by the prison? - Mod.JW]