October 24, 2016

Four Dead in New York Legionnaires Outbreak

Four people have died and sixty one others are sick in Legionnaires Disease outbreak in New York City. Fifty five people remain hospitalized.

Legionnaires’ Disease causes pneumonia-like symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, confusion, aches and lung inflammation. Symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure.

People contract Legionnaires’ Disease by inhaling contaminated water mist from showers, faucets, whirlpools, swimming pools, fountains or cooling towers in air conditioning systems. It cannot be transmitted from person to person.

Most of the cases are in the South Bronx and have been reported since mid-July. Water sources at a hospital, hotel and three other buildings associated with the illnesses tested positive for legionella, the bacteria that cause Legionnaires Disease. Four of those buildings have completed a remediation process to remove the bacteria.

Every year, between 8,000 and 18,000 Americans are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ Disease.  The condition is so-named because it was first discovered when an outbreak of pneumonia struck an American Legion convention in 1976.

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