Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreak in Fresno Nursing Home

Fresno County has been experiencing an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease – and three weeks ago a resident of a nursing home in northeast Fresno was diagnosed with the respiratory illness.

County health officials were able to confirm last week that a resident at Horizon Health & Subacute Center had been diagnosed with Legionnaires.

The county was made aware of the diagnosis on December 27, 2016.

Legionnaire’s disease is caused when water that has been contaminated with the Legionella bacteria is converted in a fine spray and inhaled. It develops into a type of pneumonia. Once detected, water restrictions such as not using showers, drinking bottled water, and not using ice from machines are ways in which the spread is controlled.

The 180-bed nursing home has been using water restrictions to control the disease. The facility is using only bottled water for drinking, using point-of-use filters on all showers, no ice from the nursing home is being used, and only sterile water may be used for respiratory devices and procedures. The cook can use water for meal preparation.

As long as the water restrictions are in place, the facility is allowed to admit new residents.

The Horizon case is only the most recent in the county. In the past 2 years, there have been two confirmed and four possible cases of the illness that are associated with health care facilities.

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