Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Adrian Pennington said there was no significant risk to patients at the Hervey Bay Oral Health and Cancer Care Centre despite positive test results for legionella in two water fountains at the facility.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Adrian Pennington said there was no significant risk to patients at the Hervey Bay Oral Health and Cancer Care Centre despite positive test results for legionella in two water fountains at the facility. Mike Knott

Legionella still present at Bay's cancer care centre

FOLLOW UP tests at the Hervey Bay Oral Health and Cancer Care Centre have uncovered the presence of legionella in two of the facility's cold water fountains.

The discovery has been made just two weeks after it was confirmed that the bacteria had been discovered in two hot water outlets at the centre.

The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service's chief executive Adrian Pennington said precautionary measures at the centre would remain in place until test results cleared the facility of the bacteria.

"I can assure patients that all water used in clinical areas is sterile and completely safe, so their care will not be impacted by the precautionary measures.

"There is no significant risk to patients."

Mr Pennington said both fountains had been removed from the centre and the WBHHS was implementing further chlorine flushes and treatment of the cold water system.

At the time of the initial outbreak, public health director Dr Margaret Young said a thorough heat treatment and flushing of water outlets throughout the facility had taken place.

Yesterday it was confirmed that test results showed legionella was no longer present in the hot water system, but two cold water fountains had tested positive for the bacteria.

Mr Pennington said WBHHS's Water Quality Risk Management Plan was behind the discovery of the bacteria at the Hervey Bay Oral Health and Cancer Care Centre.

"Legionella is a naturally occurring bacteria that all health services need to actively manage through their water quality plans and I remain confident in the way our plan has been developed and executed.

"The WBHHS continues to undertake regular testing of facilities across the district as per the Water Quality Risk Management Plan."

The positive test results at the Hervey Bay Oral Health and Cancer Care Centre follows an outbreak of the bacteria at Hervey Bay Hospital in May last year.

The hospital was cleared of legionella 17 days after it was first discovered in the hospital's water system on May 19.

A patient who died at the hospital was found to have legionella on April 20, prompting further checks in addition to the facility's routine water testing.



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