University of Iowa Hospitals began treating its water system once again after a patient who’d been treated and sent home was later diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. Hospital spokesman Tom Moore says it is the fourth time such measures have been taken at University Hospitals since 2005.
In all the cases diagnosed at the hospital, they’ve never been able to clearly determine the source of the infection. He says it’s something difficult to pin down. An Iowa City woman died from the respiratory disease last September. A water filtering system was put in place last Friday in the hospital’s fourth-floor John Pappajohn Pavilion.
Moore says the most recent round of water-monitoring tests turned up no sign of the Legionella germ in water supplies in the Pappajohn Pavilion. "At this point in time," Moore says, "the source of infection in this particular case is unclear." Researchers say the Legionella germ is found in many water systems, and often a patient who’s diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease had it when they checked in. The hospital will continue special filtering for two more weeks and will keep testing the water.