PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania newspaper says the strain of bacteria that caused a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in a Veterans Affairs hospital is "almost identical" to the strain found there more than three decades ago.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/ZBHAYG ) said Sunday it had obtained documents indicating that the Legionella bacteria found in October at the Oakland hospital match five of seven genes of the 1982 bacteria.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report says that indicates that the strain "may have persisted in the hospital's water system for many years" despite decades of hot water flushes, chemical disinfectant cycles and installation of a system designed to kill it.
VA spokesman David Cowgill declined comment, citing "pending investigations and legal claims."
Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com