Have You Been Affected by the Recent Legionnaires’ Outbreak?

Cudahy, Wis. –A Legionnaires’  Outbreak at St. Luke’s South Shore Hospital infected 8 people with the deadly water borne bacteria during the months of February and March of 2010.   The Hospital’s decorative waterfall has been identified as the bacteria source.  If you or someone you know has been injured by this outbreak please contact Davis & Gelshenen LLP at 1-866-427-2121 for more information.

What is Legionnaires’ Disease?  Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by inhaling legionella bacteria.  If left untreated, the disease can lead to respiratory failure, septic shock, and acute kidney failure.  People most susceptible to the disease are older adults, smokers, and people with already weakened immune systems.  Symptoms of the disease develop between 2 and 14 days of exposure and can include headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, as well as confusion and changes in mental ability (Mayo Clinic).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that every year, “between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’.”  However, it is believed that many occurrences are under reported due to the rare nature of the disease (CDC).

Legionella bacteria thrives in damp warm environments, yet rarely causes harm in nature.  Legionella bacteria thrives in man-made environments such as pipes, faucets, and shower heads.  Outbreaks have historically been linked to whirlpools on cruise ships, cooling towers in AC Units, decorative fountains, swimming pools, physical therapy equipment, and water systems in hotels, hospitals, and retirement homes (Mayo Clinic).

If you have been injured by the recent Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak at St. Luke’s South Shore Hospital or any other medical injury due to the negligence of a hospital, contact Atty. John Gelshenen toll free at 1-866-427-2121 or email him at jgelshenen@dgattorneys.com for a free consultation.

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