A showerhead in a patient ward at Blackall Hospital has tested positive for Legionella bacteria
following routine water quality testing at the facility.

However, retesting at Longreach Hospital and Winton Multipurpose Health Service has shown
those facilities are now clear of the Legionella discovered last month in showerheads there.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Michel Lok said immediate action
had been taken to remove the bacteria at Blackall, including isolating the affected area and
pasteurising, flushing and chlorinating the water system.

“This was undertaken over the weekend following the receipt of the positive test result late on
Friday afternoon (8 April),’’ he said.

“We will retest the water system this week and should get results back within seven to 10
working days.

“Clinical services at Blackall have not been affected.’’

Mr Lok said he welcomed the news that Longreach Hospital and Winton MPHS were now clear
of Legionella following retesting of those facilities.

“I am also happy to report that we have tested Barcaldine MPHS and recorded no positive
results there at all,’’ he said.

Mr Lok said Alpha MPHS was the next facility to be tested as part of the routine testing
program.

“This will be done during the course of this week as we progressively test all our facilities,’’ he
said.

Mr Lok said Legionella bacteria were commonly found in the environment.

“The risks for staff and the general public are low as the Legionella bacteria must be inhaled in
the form of airborne water droplets to have any chance of being infectious – and then generally
only to particularly vulnerable sick or immune-compromised people,’’ he said.

ENDS

Download original: CWHHS legionella update 160411