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2 new cases of Legionnaires’ at Ohio prison hospital

The prison hospital houses close to 600 inmates who need medical and long-term care.
Franklin Medical Center (Credit: Google)

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction confirms there have been two new cases of Legionnaires’ at Franklin Medical Center, the prison hospital in Columbus.

The news comes after two other inmates were diagnosed with the illness in the summer.

The prison hospital houses close to 600 inmates who need medical and long-term care.

In an e-mail to hospital staff on Nov. 30, Rhonda Richard, the warden, said they will perform routine flushing of all shows in Zone A of the hospital.

They also replaced all the filters that exceeded the manufacturing warranty.

In the e-mail, Richard said the water samples did not test for Legionella when the filters are intact on all faucets.

Richard said they will continue to monitor for signs and symptoms in patients and test their water source.

Below are the precautions ODRC said it has taken:

  1. Contracted with a Legionella remediation expert who is nationally renowned and known by ODH and CDC.
  2. Hyper Chlorinated the water and have continued to monitor the chlorination levels.
  3. Monitoring the water temperatures to ensure that the hot water is above 120 degrees.
  4. Installed submicron filters on all water sources in use at the facility (Legionella cannot pass through these filters).
  5. Monitoring for signs and symptoms of infection.
  6. Continue to work with Columbus Public Health, Ohio Department and CDC to share data.
  7. Tested all patients for legionella on our Long-Term care floor and all are negative.

The bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease usually grow in closed water systems.

People can get sick if they inhale mist or vapor from contaminated systems.