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Southern Arizona VA Health Care System

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Tucson VA Latest Legionella Test 1st Quarter 2016

November 18, 2015

TUCSON, AZ – The Tucson VA’s main campus conducts quarterly Legionella tests by drawing water samples, which includes both the hot and the cold water distribution system from inpatient hospital areas. Late last week, the Tucson VA received new Legionella test results for the 1st Quarter of fiscal year 2016.

The current quarterly test samples, which included 120 water samples from patient care areas found one positive indication of Legionella in Building 30. The water samples are processed by Phigenics Analytics Services Laboratory who is certified to conduct the Legionella testing.

A point of use filter, which blocks Legionella, was installed on the faucet which tested positive, and we are taking immediate remediation steps and will retest in accordance with VHA Directive 1061, Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Legionella Disease and Scald Injury from Potable Water Distribution Systems. The test results will be available within 10 to 14 days and the results will be shared with our Veterans, employees and the public. The Tucson VA has a zero tolerance policy for legionella bacteria, and there is no impact to patient care.

It is important to note that Legionella is present in natural and artificial water environments worldwide. Person-to-person transmission of Legionella disease does not occur. We want to stress the water is safe to drink, use in washing of hands and for use in patient care. The water conditions at the Tucson VA have not caused any infection in either patients or staff.

For media inquiries, please contact the SAVAHCS Public Affairs office at (520) 629-1819.