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Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak In South Bronx:Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia — lung inflammation usually caused by infection.

Posted on 3 August, 2015 at 13:51
Importance: High

For staff working in the Bronx, who may be concerned about the Legionnaires' disease outbreak, you may want to share the following information:

Legionnaires' disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria. The Legionellabacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found in
  • Hot tubs
  • Cooling Towers
  • Hot water tanks
  • Large plumbing systems
  • Decorative fountains

There have been more 45 cases of Legionnaires' disease reported over the past 2 weeks in the South Bronx, resulting in 2 deaths. Both deaths were individuals in their 50s with other underlying medical problems.

Health officials are urging New Yorkers, particularly in the South Bronx, presenting with respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills and muscle aches,to seek prompt medical attention.

Additional symptoms include: headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear two to 10 days after significant exposure to Legionella bacteria.

Legionnaires' disease cannot be spread from person to person. One becomes infected by inhaling mist/water vapor that is contaminated with the Legionella bacteria.

Most cases of Legionnaires' disease can be traced to whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, cooling towers, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems.

The New York City water supply does not pose a risk and Commissioner of Health, Mary Bassett, urged people to feel confident in drinking tap water to stay cool during this period of hot weather

.Who is at Risk?:

  • Groups at high risk for Legionnaire's diseaseinclude people who are middle-aged or older; especially cigarette smokers, people with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems, and people who take medications that weaken their immune systems (immunosuppressive drugs).

  • Those with symptoms should call their doctor and ask about testing for Legionnaire's disease.

The investigation has now identified (2) cooling towers in the Bronx that have tested positive for Legionella, one at Lincoln Medical Center and one at the Concourse Plaza Mall.

  • Those towers are being disinfected and flushed.Testing will be done to determine if the strains of Legionella in these cooling towers are the same strains that have caused illness in 45 people.

If these cooling towers are the source of the outbreak, the numbers of new cases should begin to decline.

The key to preventing legionellosis is maintenance of the water systems in which Legionella grow. There are no vaccines that can prevent legionellosis. Persons at increased risk of infection may choose to avoid high-risk exposures, such as being in or near a hot tub.

Categories: Diseases

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10:44 on 3 July, 2018 
Well,thanking for making this post as it is making ne awared.Good Job.I would try my best in spreading this awareful blog.
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I did not know more about this disease but through this post, I got much more to learn as my one of the friend died due to this same disease that’s why I am much concerned about this.
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This is really alarming. I am glad that there is an article like this which mainly discusses about the things that people should know about Legionnaires' disease. I must say that I am not really that familiar with it but thanks to this article, I was able to become knowledgeable and be informed of its causes and effects. It is just sad to know that there are people who were not able to overcome the disease. I feel so sorry because their lives have been taken away from them by this disease. I just wish that there are some things that can be done from preventing this to happen again.
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