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Safety and Efficacy of Chlorine Dioxide for Legionella Control in a Hospital Water System

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Zhe Zhang
Affiliation:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carole McCann
Affiliation:
Mercy Hospital, Buffalo, New York
Janet E. Stout*
Affiliation:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Infectious Disease Section, Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Special Pathogens Laboratory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Steve Piesczynski
Affiliation:
Mercy Hospital, Buffalo, New York
Robert Hawks
Affiliation:
Mercy Hospital, Buffalo, New York
Radisav Vidic
Affiliation:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Victor L. Yu
Affiliation:
Department of Otolaryngology, Eye and Ear Institute, the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
*
Special Pathogens Laboratory, 1401 Forbes Avenue, Suite 209, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (jes20@pitt.edu)

Abstract

In a 30-month prospective study, we evaluated the efficacy of chlorine dioxide to control Legionella organisms in a water distribution system of a hospital with 364 patient beds and 74 skilled nursing beds. The number of hot water specimens positive for Legionella organisms decreased from 12 (60%) of 20 to 2 (10%) of 20. An extended time (18 months) was needed to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of Legionella positivity among hot water specimens. At the time of writing, no cases of hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease have been detected at the hospital since the chlorine dioxide system was installed in January 2003. Use of chlorine dioxide was safe, based on Environmental Protection Agency limits regarding maximum concentrations of chlorine dioxide and chlorite.

Type
Concise Communications
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2007

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References

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