Prescott VA hospital detects Legionnaires' disease

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- The federal Department of Veterans Affairs says it will flush and decontaminate the water system of its Prescott hospital after detecting the bacterium that causes the potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease. 
 
VA spokeswoman Mary Dillinger said the agency discovered nine positive tests for the bacterium on Oct. 14 in several locations, including employee restrooms, a break room and a lab sink and a former overflow room.
 
She said none of the rooms was used by patients, and the VA has not received any reports of anyone with Legionnaires' symptoms.
 
A VA letter provided to Northern Arizona VA Health Care System employees Thursday said inpatient veterans were being provided bottled water to brush their teeth and that patients in one building weren't being allowed to take showers.
 
Flushing and decontamination will be performed Saturday.