Mercy Taking Precautions After 2 Patients Test Positive for Bacteria

CANTON, Ohio (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital is taking all precautions with its internal water system after two patients tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires Disease.

The hospital statement indicates it is treating the water, installing filters on faucets, and using bottled water.

They are working with Canton City Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health as part of their response plan.

Canton Health Commissioner Amanda Archer says the bacteria is not uncommon, but it becomes a problem when people breathe in tiny water droplets that contain it.

The hospital says testing of the water system has not detected the bacteria.

The community and the city’s water system are NOT affected.

The hospital remains open, providing care.

Here’s the statement released by the hospital:

Joint statement with Canton City Public Health

Canton City Public Health and Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital are working closely to ensure the safety of the hospital’s water systems after two patients tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionellosis following hospital stays.

It has not been confirmed where the Legionella exposures occurred. This does not pose a risk to the community, and it does not affect the water supply of the City of Canton. Legionella is a common bacteria found in the environment, and in water systems, especially hot water systems. Some species of Legionella bacteria can cause illness.

Together, Mercy, Canton City Public Health, and the Ohio Department of Health are working through a response plan that began Feb. 7. The hospital is proactively treating the water system, installing filters on faucets and using bottled water where appropriate. The safety of caregivers and patients is Mercy’s top priority, and the hospital remains open for care.

Samples have not indicated a detectable level of legionella bacteria in the water system.