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UPDATE: Number of Legionnaires’ cases at University Hospital rises to 11

MADISON (WKOW) — The number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported at University Hospital has risen to 11 as of Friday, according to a hospital news release.

Hospital officials had expected new cases based on the exposure window, and symptoms can present up to 14 days after exposure, although the typical onset is within five to six days.

This means any other potentially impacted individuals would likely show symptoms by Dec. 12, according to the news release.

There are now four hospitalized patients at University Hospital as of Friday.

Their condition is stable  and their treatment with antibiotics is working as expected, according to the news release.

The six other patients have either been discharged or treated at outpatient facilities.

As previously reported, one patient, who had been hospitalized for other serious health conditions, died last week.

Since cases of Legionnaires’ disease were first reported, the hospital implemented a hyperchlorination process to flush all hot water lines in the building.

The chlorination of the water system has worked as anticipated. Testing completed so far has shown the expected reduction in the bacteria. Our monitoring at multiple sites within University Hospital is ongoing.

UW Health is working closely with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health to confer on best practices and support additional testing efforts.

Additionally, hospital leadership has invited the Centers for Disease Control to offer their expertise and serve as an additional independent verification of system safety.

“We are confident the hyperchlorination worked as expected.  An aggressive program of monitoring and screening is in place to ensure the system is functioning as designed. Our commitment to the safety of our patients is unwavering,” said John Marx, UW Health senior infection control practice specialist. “It is important to emphasize Legionnaires’ disease is not spread person to person.”

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