Four individuals at local nursing home test positive for Legionnaires’ disease


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local nursing home is warning the public after four people who were at the center developed Legionnaires’ disease.

The four people with the disease all spent time at the Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs. Three of them lived on the same floor; however, it is unknown if they caught the disease at the center.

“It’s not been identified that Wesley is the source,” Wesley Community CEO Brian Nealon said.

The health care center was first alerted on October 13 by Saratoga Hospital.

It was told two former short-term rehabilitation residents and one employee had tested positive for Legionella bacteria and were hospitalized. All three are currently recuperating at home and are expected to make a full recovery.

But on Thursday, the center learned about another case.

“Also was a former resident of the nursing home,” Nealon said.

The elderly man became ill about one week after leaving the center and was hospitalized.

“The main way that this disease is caught is by breathing it in through a water droplet,” Dr. James Saperstone, of CapitalCare Medical Group, said.

Dr. Saperstone said the disease is not spread person-to-person, but those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the bacteria if they’re exposed.

“It’s pretty rare, but occasionally, we see it,” he said.

The center is working with the state and the Saratoga County Health Department on taking precautions. They’re also monitoring residents more closely.

On Monday, a water testing company took nearly three dozen water samples from campus buildings. Also, on Friday, the center implemented a water restriction plan in hopes of preventing a major outbreak in the future.

“Just educate people about what is going on and what isn’t going on,” Nealon said.

New York State guidelines require all health facilities to frequently test for legionella. The health center said it’s followed the protocols with its most recent test in September showing negative results.

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