RI woman dies, tests positive for Legionnaires’

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — An elderly woman who died at a hospital in Rhode Island in May tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease.

Doctors at Kent Hospital in Warwick say the woman had multiple health problems and there’s no definitive link between her death and Legionnaires’ disease. The woman’s name hasn’t been released. No other Legionnaires’ cases were reported.

Hospital spokesman Jim Beardsworth says Legionella bacteria that cause the disease were found in four of the hospital’s 24 ice machines, but there’s no evidence that tainted ice caused the problem.

Beardsworth says the machines were disinfected and there are no more signs of the bacteria.

Legionnaires’ disease is a rare form of pneumonia that’s contracted when people breathe in tiny droplets of contaminated water. There have been 32 cases in Rhode Island this year.

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