News

Low Legionella risk to patients at Hervey Bay, Yaralla

UPDATE: There has been little risk to patients from the low level legionella counts found in Hervey Bay Hospital and  Yaralla Place nursing home, the Wide Bay Health and Hospital Service says.

WBHHS public physician Margaret Young said there had been no evidence of any harm.

"Our immediate focus has been to ensure patient safety while the testing program was underway," she said.

"There was little risk to patients due to the low level legionella counts in the identified sites and there has been no evidence of any harm."

Infrequent use of showers can be a major reason for a positive legionella test.

Dr Young said as ward use changed, the demand for a shower could also change.

"Once we had the initial positive results we immediately undertook works that included installing new shower hoses and heads to replace those that had tested positive," she said

"We are doing a supplementary round of testing as a precaution and the results are expected back next week."

Dr Young said new workplace procedures were in place that committed the WBHHS facilities to regular flushing of the water system.

She said there have been no known cases of legionella acquired from public or private hospitals in the Wide Bay area in at least a decade.

Eighty-four tests for legionella in 11 public health facilities across the Wide Bay have returned four positive results.

Low levels of legionella were found in a single shower head at facilities in Mount Perry and Gin Gin, Hervey Bay Hospital, and in a single shower head in Yaralla Place nursing home.

Samples taken after flushing the shower hoses and heads returned negative results at all four facilities.

"Samples taken after running the shower for a minute or two had no legionella which was  reassuring as it means our reticulated water systems are free of legionella," Dr Young said.

"Results indicated the bacteria were isolated in the four shower heads."

Bundaberg Hospital, Maryborough Hospital, and the health facilities at Biggenden, Gayndah, Monto, Eidsvold and Childers all tested negative for legionella.

 

Legionella facts

  • Legionella bacteria are common in the environment. They can be found in air-conditioning cooling towers, hot or warm water systems, showerheads, spa baths, creeks, soil and potting mix.
  • There are various types of legionella bacteria, but the main ones that cause disease in people are legionella pneumophila (often associated with water in cooling towers) and Legionella longbeachae (often associated with gardening or potting mix).
  • Legionella is an uncommon cause of serious pneumonia.  In the Wide Bay area, there are 3 to 4 confirmed legionella infections each year, of which most are the strain associated with gardening and handling mulch or potting mix. 
  • Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by the Legionella bacteria.
  • Legislation requires laboratory-identified cases to be notified to Queensland Health, and all such cases are followed up to determine possible sources. 
  • There is an increased risk of developing legionnaires disease in people over 50 years of age who smoke cigarettes and people with a weak immune system, for example, those with a medical condition such as chronic lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes or cancer.
     

 

EARLIER: Legionella bacteria have been found in four Wide Bay hospitals, including the oncology ward at Hervey Bay Hospital.

Low levels of the bacteria, which can cause the potentially fatal legionnaire's disease, were found in initial testing of an unused shower head in the oncology ward.

Secondary testing, to check for further infestation in the ward's pipes, found no further bacteria.

It is understood that one shower head in each of our Wide Bay hospitals were the only legionella infestations found after more than 80 tests in 11 facilities.

Two of those contained the sort of bacteria most associated with the disease.

More details to come.

Topics:  hervey bay, hervey bay hospital, legionella, testing, tests




Why a Census worker could soon be at your door

Some of the Fraser Coast's Census field officers: Jenni Goldsworthy, Jake MacDonald (back), Joey Nafterl (front) and Janet Smith.

Residents will soon be visited one of 200 Census field officers.

Cyclists, walkers face long magpie dive-bombing season

WATCH OUT: Magpie swooping season is here again. Photo: Scottie Simmonds/NewsMail

119 swoops already recorded this year in Queensland

WEATHER: What's in store for the start of Spring

Kimmy Zeitinger - Shelly Beach, Hervey Bay. Photo Contributed

Take advantage of today's weather

Latest deals and offers

VIDEO: What did Thor do during Captain America: Civil War?

Short explains why Thor wasn't in Civil War film.

Hilarious mockumentary features star of the film Chris Hemsworth

Meet Toowoomba's top exotic dancer

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Exotic dancers (from left) Alice Morgan, Celeste and Frenchie are heading to the United States after competing in Miss Vault 2017.

Dancers vie for top spot at Toowoomba's only strip club

That's a wrap: Gympie Muster celebrates 35 years in style

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at the Muster Club on Sunday August 28 at the Gympie Muster.

Country music festival blessed with great weather and bumper crowds

Julia and Sasha top The Block's leaderboard

Julia and Sasha in their winning master en-suite in a scene from The Block.

FIRST room reveals of the season deliver mixed results.

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa