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Forsyth County Health Officials Share Latest on Legionnaires’ Disease in Winston-Salem Nursing Home

Posted on 7/24/2014 by Yalonda Miller

Forsyth County Health Officials Share Latest on Legionnaires’ Disease in Winston-Salem Nursing Home

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health is continuing to work with the staff at Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation and with state health officials to investigate an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease among residents of the facility. Six cases of Legionella infection have been identified to date. All affected residents are improving or have fully recovered.

As part of this investigation, environmental samples were taken from various locations within the Oak Forest facility. Testing of these samples identified low levels of Legionella bacteria.

In response to this outbreak and in consultation with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health and the North Carolina Division of Public Health, Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation has complied with all recommended control measures to protect residents, visitors, and staff. No new Legionella infections have occurred in facility patients since control measures were instituted.

Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation has hired an environmental engineering firm to assist in remediation of their water system and to help eradicate Legionella bacteria from the facility. Remediation has included superheating, flushing, and hyperchlorination of the facility’s water system. To ensure the continued safety of residents, visitors, and staff, water restrictions will remain in place until Legionella bacteria are no longer identified at the facility through follow-up environmental testing.

The staff and administrators of Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation are to be commended for their ongoing cooperation with public health officials and their commitment to the health of their residents, visitors, and staff.

For more information about Legionella bacteria please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/legionella/fastfacts.html.