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Legionnaires’ Disease Reported at HGH – A Few Deaths Reported

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By: Daiyu Tang

Breaking news in Hathian today where it appears the Hathian General Hospital (‘HGH’) has suffered an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease which according to a well-placed source has at circa 1pm on Sunday afternoon already led to one or two deaths arising from complications.

For those not aware, Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection that can be caught through inhaling droplets of water from things like air conditioning or hot tubs. It arises from a nasty bacteria called Legionella and although it’s uncommon it can be very serious, especially for those with weak immune systems or those with other complications such as diabetes or heart conditions.

Hospital environments, while designed with the health of patients in mine can be vulnerable to both the onset of the disease due to large water systems which can often be quite old and then a supply of ill patients. However, the good news is that it’s very hard to catch from other people and via antibiotics the fatality rate is under 10% for those without risk factors. Noting this, for those who are immunosuppressed or have risk aggravating factors this can be very serious with a fatality rate exceeding 40%.

The death rate as a result of Legionnaires’ disease depends on the severity of the disease, the appropriateness of initial anti-microbial treatment, the setting where Legionella was acquired, and host factors (for example, the disease is usually more serious in patients with immuno-suppression). The death rate may be as high as 40–80% in untreated immuno-suppressed patients and can be reduced to 5–30% through appropriate case management and depending on the severity of the clinical signs and symptoms. Overall the death rate is usually within the range of 5–10%. 

World Health Organisation

Health Advice From FDH

The FDH and others advise that any resident who feels that they might have been exposed (in HGH) to this should monitor for warning signs and if they feel unwell present at either the temporary triage outside HGH, or via for example other medical care facilities such as CU Clinic.

How Did This Happen in HGH?

HGH is a new hospital and shouldn’t suffer from the standing water contamination that some old hospitals or other facilities may have happen. In addition, in a clinical environment a regular chemical cleaning of air conditioning and hot and cold water supplies should be taking place. The Observer would love to be told (you can reach us anonymously) if you are aware if proper practice was being followed.

Assuming this started through incompetence or bad luck, it’s a worrying turn for Hathian Citizens who have only really recently got their hospital back, but the good news is that with antibiotics most will recover. So if you have symptoms and were exposed in HGH through having treatment anytime in the last twenty days get yourself here and get checked out.

Symptoms

  • a cough
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or discomfort, particularly when breathing or coughing
  • a high temperature
  • flu-like symptoms
  • coughing up blood (serious – get checked out here immediately!)
The medical triage tent while HGH is closed for deep cleaning (we presume)
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