Third Legionnaires patient dies

October 3, 2008 5:32:57 PM PDT
A third patient has died after contracting Legionnaires' disease at a New Brunswick hospital. The unidentified woman died Friday at Saint Peter's University Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said she was being treated for a separate, unspecified illness.

Eight patients of the hospital have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease since mid-September. All were staying in the same oncology wing.

One male patient died on Sept. 12 and another man died on Sept. 22. Officials say two patients have recovered from the disease.

Hospital officials traced the outbreak to a decrease in chlorine levels in the hospital's water system. The cause of the decrease was under investigation.

Legionnaires' disease is a form of pneumonia that can be spread through plumbing and air conditioning systems.

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