One case of Legionnaires’ disease has been confirmed at a retirement home in upper Northwest Washington, the D.C. health department said Monday.
According to the department, the disease is serious, but can be treated successfully with antibiotics. No information about the victim’s condition was available, and the victim was not identified.
The case was confirmed at the Ingleside at Rock Creek Retirement Community, on Military Road, the health department said.
It described the disease as a type of bacterial pneumonia, caused by breathing in a mist or vapor containing Legionella bacteria. The elderly may be at higher risk of infection, the department said.
It said the health department and staff at the retirement home were working with DC Water and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate how the infection occurred. DC Health said it had advised Ingleside to implement full water restrictions until filters are installed on sink faucets and showers as a precaution so residents can continue to use the water safely.
In general, the department said, the disease does not spread by person-to-person contact. It can be contracted, health officials say, by such means as inhalation of spray from showers or faucets.