3 people diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease at UW Hospital have died

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW Hospital said Monday that three patients diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease have died. Those patients had underlying health issues.

Hospital spokesperson Lisa Brunette said that the hospital has confirmed a total of 14 cases of Legionnaires’ disease. One patient remains in the hospital and ten patients have been released.

The three patients who died all had “serious, life threatening health conditions,” according to Brunette.

The disease was first detected at the end of November after four patients were diagnosed.At that time the hospital determined the bacteria was associated with a recent change to the hot water system. A week later the number of cases increased to 11 patients.

The hospital used a “hypercholoration” process to flush all hot-water lines in the building to eliminate any Legionella bacteria.

Brunette said efforts to clean the water system of bacteria worked, and that it will continue to monitor the water.

The hospital is working with the CDC to review and analyze its work in responding to the issue. The report is expected to be out in about three months.