News Releases

Confirmed Legionnaires’ Disease at California Health Care Facility

STOCKTON, CA – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS), California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and San Joaquin County Public Health officials are investigating the presence of Legionnaires’ disease at a state prison in Stockton. A patient from the California Health Care Facility (CHCF) recently passed away at an outside hospital, and post-death analysis confirmed the presence of Legionella in the patient. Officials immediately initiated systematic testing of all patients at CHCF with radiologically confirmed pneumonia. In addition to the patient who tested positive in the hospital, 16 additional patients were tested. Of those, one patient tested positive and is currently receiving treatment at CHCF; 14 patients tested negative; one case is still pending results. The source of Legionella is still under investigation. In an abundance of caution, CHCF is providing bottled water for drinking and hygienic functions, halting the use of any aerosolizing equipment, shutting down the use of showers in specific areas and providing education to both staff and patients.

Legionnaire’s Disease Background: Legionnaires’ disease (or Legionellosis) is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that grows in warm water. It is acquired by breathing mists or vapors, which contain the bacteria from contaminated water sources. Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious. Symptoms resemble other types of pneumonia and can include fever, chills, muscle aches, and cough. Some people may also have headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion or diarrhea. Groups at high risk include people who are middle-aged or older—especially cigarette smokers—people with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems and people who take medicines that weaken their immune systems (immunosuppressive drugs). The disease is treated effectively with antibiotics. Most people get better with early treatment, although they may need to be hospitalized. Some people may get very sick or even die from the complications of the disease.

California Health Care Facility Background: CHCF provides medical care and mental health treatment to inmates who have the most severe and long term needs. The 1.4 million square foot facility is certified to provide intermediate level care and to complement less acute treatment provided in other prisons operated by the CDCR. This facility provides both outpatient and inpatient mental health services for patients with a serious mental disorder. The licensed Psychiatric Inpatient Program at this facility is designed to provide more intensive treatment for patients who cannot function adequately or stabilize in an outpatient program. The 54-building complex is located in South Stockton on the site of the former Karl Holton Youth Correctional Facility. It provides housing and treatment for 2,704 patients provided by a professional health care staff of 2,500.


March 26, 2019

Contact:Liz Gransee