State: UAB Hospital late to report deadly outbreak

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The state says UAB Hospital was late in reporting an outbreak of deadly legionella bacteria that infected patients.

Al.com (http://bit.ly/1jwePR8 ) quotes assistant state health officer Dr. Mary McIntyre as saying the hospital knew about a cluster of cases as early as May 7.

But she says health officials didn't find out about the outbreak until May 19. The notification came from a laboratory the hospital used for testing.

Two people died of the nine who tested positive for the disease in early May, but hospital officials are refusing to release the exact date. They cite patient confidentiality.

McIntyre says the state is working with UAB Hospital to make sure the problem doesn't happen again.

The area has been disinfected, and the hospital's patient safety expert says better communication is needed.

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