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Patient Dies From Legionnaires' Disease Linked to Dental Office

February 29, 2012

Published in the February 18, 2012 issue of The Lancet is an account of an elderly Italian woman who contracted Legionnaires' Disease and subsequently died. Scientists investigating her death determined that during the incubation period of her illness, she only left her house twice to visit her dentist. After testing both her home and dentist's office for Legionella bacteria, they found the source of contamination in the water line supplying water to dental devices in the dental office. Samples in the dental office were taken from the tap and the high-speed turbine of the dental unit waterlines, and from the dental practice's taps. All yielded positive results for Legionella pneumophila.