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Outbreak of Water-Borne Disease Near Pennsylvania Threatens Nursing Home Residents

Our Philadelphia nursing home negligence attorneys were interested to see a news story about an outbreak of a rare disease at a nursing home. United Press International reported Jan. 14 that one resident has died and another fell ill at the Golden Hill Nursing Home in Kingston, N.Y. The two residents had Legionnaires’ disease, a bacterial infection affecting the victim’s respiratory tract. (Unfortunately, it gets its name from an outbreak at an American Legion convention here in Philadelphia.) The disease often leads to pneumonia and is considered a particularly serious threat to older people, people with weakened immune systems and smokers — all common characteristics for residents of nursing homes in Pennsylvania.

The woman who died from Legionnaires’ disease was 88 and had a compromised immune system, the article said. Another woman, 91, was hospitalized but has now been released. Legionnaires’ disease takes up to two weeks to incubate, the article said, so staff members are watching other residents for signs of illness. The bacteria that cause the disease are not passed from person to person like the flu, but enter the body when the victim inhales infected water vapor. Health inspectors are examining the water system at the county-run home and will disinfect it when they find the source.

This incident raises serious concerns for Pennsylvania nursing home abuse lawyers like us. Legionnaires’ disease is generally prevented by modern water treatment methods. An outbreak suggests that someone responsible for the water supply at this home — the home itself, a government agency or an individual — failed to follow established practices intended to prevent contamination and disease. If this is the case, residents who fall victim to Legionnaire’s disease, and their families, would have a strong nursing home negligence claim.

If this sounds similar to your own family’s situation, Rosenbaum & Associates can help. For a free consultation, you can call us at 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 or contact us online.

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