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2 patients may have Legionnaires’ disease at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown

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MIDDLETOWN–A patient at Connecticut hospital has been diagnosed with legionellosis, a bacterial infection that causes Legionnaires’ disease, a condition that causes pneumonia-like symptoms.

The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Public Health confirmed the diagnosis, and said the patient is doing well with treatment at a local hospital.

A second suspected case is being treated as such while DPH waits for the lab results to confirm that diagnosis.

Legionella, the bacteria that causes the disease, is found in soil and warm water, including in cooling towers, hot tubs, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, air conditioners and decorative fountains. It can become airborne, and thus infect people with Legionnaires’ disease, a pneumonia-type illness.

It’s not yet known how these patients contracted the illness, but it can’t be transferred from person to person.

In Connecticut there are typically 50 to 80 cases of Legionnaires’ disease each year.

“While this is something state government is taking very seriously, I would encourage the public to not be alarmed. We will continue to work diligently until this is resolved and provide updates as needed,” Gov. Dan Malloy said.

Officials say this case is different from a recent outbreak in New York caused by contaminated water cooling towers on top of a hospital.

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