Patient in Boston health care system diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease

BOSTON (WHDH) - A patient in the VA Boston health care system has been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease, officials announced Friday.

The VA says it is tracing the patient’s movements within facility locations in Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, and Brockton. Officials are testing the water for bacteria at each of the locations.

It could take up to two weeks to get the test results back, according to the VA.

It’s not clear when or where the patient contracted the disease.

There have been more than a dozen confirmed cases of the disease in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, in recent weeks.

Legionnaires’ disease is acquired from breathing in small drops of water that contain the bacteria. It cannot be passed from person to person contact and it cannot be contracted by drinking or coming into physical contact with water containing the bacteria.

Health officials say those most at risk of developing the infection are:

• People with weakened immune systems
• People who take drugs that can weaken their immune systems (after a transplant operation or chemotherapy)
• People with chronic lung disease
• Current or former smokers
• People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure
• People 50 years or older

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