3 deaths now reported in Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at UW

MADISON (WKOW) — Officials with University Hospital say three people have now died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease from the hospital’s water system.

According to a spokesperson for the hospital, the people who died had other serious, life-threatening conditions that may have contributed to their deaths.

A total of 14 people are confirmed to have gotten the disease, which is a type of pneumonia. One of them is still in the hospital as of Monday.

Hospital officials asked federal health investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come in and look at the water system. That team visited about a week ago, but their report won’t be back for a few months.

Last month, hospital staff said the building’s hot water system created conditions that exposed patients to the bacteria and a recent change to the hot water system may have led to the problem.

It’s not confirmed at this time whether a change in the water system is to blame for the Legionella bacteria, according to hospital officials, but the hospital has flushed the system.

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