Confirmed Legionnaires' death in Cleveland

Confirmed Legionnaires' death in Cleveland

University Hospitals confirms that a woman tested positive for Legionnaires' disease and she passed away early Thursday morning. A spokesperson with the hospital said the woman passed away from complications of Legionnaires' disease on Aug. 6.

UH did not know of any other cases. The woman was from the Medina County area. Her age and name could not be released at this time.

Officials could not provide any more details at this time.

Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires' disease or Pontiac fever, collectively known as legionellosis. The bacterium was named after an outbreak in 1976, when many people who went to a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion suffered from this disease.

An estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease each year in the U.S. Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in warm water.

Legionella bacteria are not transmitted from person to person. People get Legionnaires' disease or Pontiac fever when they breathe in a mist or vapor (small droplets of water in the air) that has been contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

An outbreak occurred in July in New York City. In the South Bronx, 100 people have been diagnosed with the disease. Ten have died.

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