Wed, Jul 30, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Water coolers caused infections: CDC

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday urged the public to regularly clean and replace the water filters in their drinking-water dispensers, after it identified a water cooler as the source of two newborns’ Legionnaires disease infection last year.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said these were the first two cases ever of newborns contracting the water-borne disease by drinking water from a water cooler, and that the findings were to be published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.

“Both of the newborns resided in central Taiwan and started exhibiting symptoms of pneumonia seven days after their birth. They were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease — a serious type of lung infection — in April and October last year respectively, after their phlegm tested positive for the Legionella bacteria,” Chuang said.

The pair did not live near each other, nor were they delivered at the same hospital, Chuang added.

Chuang said the centers came to the conclusion that the newborns had been infected with the disease after drinking Legionella-laced infant formula, after the same strains of bacteria they were infected with were found around the rims of the outlets for chilled and warm water of the drinking-water dispensers at their homes.

“Luckily, they have both recovered,” Chuang said.

The centers said the disease is extremely rare among children and that the majority of the 115 people infected with the disease last year were aged between 50 and 60.

The disease is not transmitted from person to person and is primarily contracted by inhaling water droplets containing Legionella bacteria, the centers said, adding that symptoms included a loss of appetite, muscle pains, headache, fever and aversion to cold.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top