Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak Under Investigation at Brooke Army Medical Center

Aug 9, 2017

***This story was updated at 4:00 p.m.

 

Brooke Army Medical Center is reporting two employees have been confirmed with Legionnaires’ disease, and a third is awaiting test results. The cases do not involve hospital patients, but workers on post.

 

The Commander of Brooke Army Medical Center says 200 employees working in a building next to the military hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio were moved out of their workspace today. That’s because two of their co-workers were hospitalized and treated for confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease this summer, a bacterial infection that causes a severe form of pneumonia.

Brigadier General Jeff Johnson, Commander of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, briefs the media earlier this year about a slowdown in elective surgeries.
Credit Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

  

"We have completed initial testing of the water systems and all of those tests have come back negative so far," said Brigadier General Jeff Johnson. "We have no information that anybody else has been exposed or is at risk."

Anyone who has logged in to the temporary building where these employees work over the past 60 days will be contacted to see if they are experiencing any symptoms.

The illness is not spread person to person, but usually through a contaminated water source.

BAMC’s Commander says even two or three cases of the potentially deadly infection are concerning. "By the Centers for Disease Control definition, having two cases of legionella bacteria in the same year in a small area is considered a cluster or an outbreak," Johnson added.

The number of people diagnosed with Legionnaires’ has been on the rise in the U.S..  According to the CDC since 2000, reported cases of the infection have quadrupled.