Legionnaires’ bacteria found at Northport VA hospital

Posted: Updated:

The bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease has been detected at the Northport VA Medical Center.

Hospital officials say the bacteria was detected in two faucets. The center treats as many as 30,000 patients a year.

It was found back on Sept. 10 as part of the medical center's routine water quality test.

The faucets are located in the inpatient psychiatric unit. Officials say the area was shut down, sanitized and is now being monitored.

Robert Comicelli, a former Army captain and veterans advocate, says the discovery of Legionella pneumophila is troubling.

"The worst part about this is this is not a surprise," says Comicelli.

Sen. Charles Schumer says he's been briefed on the situation. Schumer says, "The bottom line is that the VA cannot and must not take their eye off this situation."

No patients or staff members have been sickened.

Hospital officials say only staff members and patients in the psychiatry unit were informed about the discovery of the bacteria. Some veterans who use the facility say they would have liked to have been notified as well.

Medical center officials say all patients at the facility who are being treated for pneumonia were tested for Legionnaires' disease.

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