Sucessful decontamination at CHUS
The results of the tests done on the water system in wing 5 of the CHUS Fleurimont, following an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease which resulted in the death of a patient, indicate that the decontamination procedure was successful.
Now that corrective measures have been taken, the CHUS management assures the population that their maintenance procedures and surveillance will be adapted to the recommendations of the experts so a situation like the one that just occurred would not be repeated.
After recommendations from the experts, the water network in wing 6 underwent a decontamination process even though no cases of Legionella pneumophilia were reported in that wing. Some of the departments housed in wing 6 include the main operation rooms, the emergency room and a portion of the external clinics. Once completed, wing 4 will also undergo a decontamination process as a preventative measure.
The water in the water systems of the CHUS at Fleurimont and Hotel Dieu, once kept at 55 degrees Celsius, will now be kept at 60 degrees Celsius.
The Estrie public health department ( Direction de la santé publique de l’Estrie) will reveal the conclusions of their investigations into all cases of pneumonia possibly caught at the CHUS in the last six months as soon as they are finalized.
The risk of contracting Legionnaire’s Disease is low for people in good health since it is not contagious. It is an illness caused by the Legionella pneumophilia bacteria, a bacteria that is easily found in the environment, mostly in artificial hot water sources (between 25 and 42 degrees Celsius): tap water, water heaters, inside shower heads, air conditioning water towers, etc. It is caught only by breathing contaminated water droplets (suspended in the air) that contain the bacteria into the lungs. People with weak immune systems are particularly at risk to contract the disease.