Pittsburgh Veterans Administration lifts water restrictions at Heinz Campus

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The Pittsburgh Veterans Administration said Friday it has lifted water restrictions at it's H.J. Heinz Campus near Aspinwall after successfully cleaning its water system in the wake of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak tied to two VA facilities.

The Heinz campus, which had two weeks of water restrictions, includes a nursing home which may be the origination point of several Legionnaires cases that the VA is investigating, including at least one case that resulted in a man dying.

The Pittsburgh VA's University Drive hospital in Oakland, which is believed to be the source of at least four of the five Legionnaires cases the VA is investigating, previously went through similar water restrictions and cleaning that ended Nov. 30.

In all, five people, including one who died, are known to have contracted the pneumonia-like disease from the water system at the Pittsburgh VA's University Drive hospital. The VA said there have been another 16 cases of Legionnaires that may or may not have originated at the hospital since January, 2011.

The person known to have died after contracting Legionnaires at a VA facility has not yet been identified.

But two other families have told their Post-Gazette that men in their families - John McChesney, 63, of Columbus, Pa., and John Ciarolla, 83, of North Versailles - also died after contracting Legionnaires.

It is not clear yet if those two men contracted the illness at the University Drive hospital, though both of them had lengthy stays there before contracting the disease. Mr. Ciarolla was residing the Heinz nursing home before and after his stays at University Drive.

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Sean D. Hamill: shamill@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2579


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