Strongsville rehab center patient diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease; staff taking precautions to prevent infection

A patient recently admitted to the Altenheim Therapy Rehab Center regarding the diagnosis, but that no symptoms have emerged.

Health Alert: Strongsville rehab center patient diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Ohio Department of Health have confirmed that a patient at the Altenheim Therapy Rehab Center in Strongsville has developed a case of Legionnaires’ Disease, and the County will lead the investigation to determine the source of the bacteria.

The patient -- who, according to the rehab center, is doing well and is not showing symptoms -- was recently admitted, so the investigation will include not only the rehab center but also any and all places the patient visited before arriving at the Altenheim facility.

Legionnaires’ Disease is contracted through the mist of a water supply that contains the bacteria, and it does not spread person to person, so the critical issue in stopping Legionairres’ from spreading is finding the source.

At this point, the Altenheim facility is using only bottled water, for every purpose in the rehab center.

Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches. In some sever cases, Legionairres’ can result in death.

Deb Burbridge is concerned for her father, 95-year-old James Shelton, a World War II veteran, who is in the facility undergoing rehab for an injury.

“He’s not in good health, he’s in bad health, he can’t take anything else,” she said, “I am definitely worried, he’s the only parent I have left.”

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