The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that Chambersburg (Pa.) Hospital was the site of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak resulting in at least 14 confirmed illnesses and three deaths.
The CDC's report to the Pennsylvania Department of Health said two of Chambersburg Hospital's cooling towers, which are part of the air-conditioning system, and one air sample from the roof contained the Legionnella bacteria (July 24, p. 4).
The hospital has sanitized its hot water and cooling systems and has hired Newton, Mass.-based Environmental Health and Engineering to monitor and inspect them.
For more than 14 years, Chambersburg Hospital has contracted with ServiceMaster to manage plant operations and maintenance, including the cooling towers, which have been under a preventive maintenance program designed to control bacteria growth.
"We believe everything has been done properly," said Norman B. Epstein, the hospital's president.