Medical & Public Health Experts Insist That Water Supply Should Have Been Tested; Virtually All Cases Stem From Drinking Supply

According to experts, including Dr Yu who classified Legionella back in 1982, our drinking water supply should be tested as it is virtually always the source of outbreaks.
According to experts, including Dr Yu who classified Legionella back in 1982, our drinking water supply should be tested as it is virtually always the source of outbreaks.

An article in City & State yesterday indicated that medical and health experts agree with exactly what Welcome2TheBronx has been saying since we first found out about the Legionnaires’outbreak in the South Bronx: The drinking water supply in the buildings of those infected should have been tested.

Welcome2TheBronx has been accused of spreading misinformation when we questioned the possibility of our drinking supply not being safe and the need for testing based on federal health and safety guidelines yet experts have come out saying it’s ridiculous that New York City Department of Health hasn’t done so.

Even some New York City workers from City Hall inferred that we were misleading people yet all of Welcome2TheBronx’s data came from leading experts, government data, and scientific research on the disease.

Welcome2TheBronx simply wants people to be FULLY AWARE OF THE FACTS and not just snippets of misinformation our government has been passing out along by NOT providing the full facts. We have been the only ones on record doing so to protect our residents until this recent City & State article.

This is a disease that has left 13 dead (not 12 as the City continues to mislead us due to the fact that a healthy teacher working in the impact zone passed away from Legionnaires’ in April) of the 119 infected and 88 have been discharged with 19 still remaining hospitalized as of yesterday per NYC DOH.

Our government officials cannot tell us that our drinking water is safe without having tested it. It is negligence on their behalf to be irresponsible to make such statements which can potentially put residents at risk if Legionella were to be found in our water supply as top experts say is the likelihood.

Considering the already existing health crisis in the South Bronx that makes residents more susceptible to becoming sick with Legionnaires’ our city has not done enough and should be held accountable.

We were the first and only to present the recommendations of Dr Yu, via his website, who was the physician who defined the legionnaires’ syndrome.

According to City & State:

“Officials distributed fact sheets to the media that read: “New York City’s drinking water supply and other water features, like fountains, shower heads and pools, are safe throughout New York City and are unaffected by legionella. Water towers are unaffected by legionella.”

“Dr. Victor Yu, a top legionella expert with 30 years of experience who defined the clinical syndrome of Legionnaires’ disease in 1982, cast doubt on these assertions. He said legionella outbreaks virtually always stem from a building’s drinking water supply.

“You’ve got to look at the water,” Yu said. “Legionella is actually coming through the city water supply, but in very low numbers.” And in such low numbers, the bacteria usually won’t make people sick. But legionella thrives in warm water, and when it multiplies to large numbers—often in warm reservoirs like water heaters or hot tubs—it can infect susceptible individuals such as elderly smokers or older patients with chronic illnesses.”

It also goes on to state the guidelines by the Occupational Safety And Health Administration’s guidelines by saying:

“The OSHA guidelines also lay out proper water testing procedures in the event of a legionella outbreak in a cooling tower. The building water supply to the cooling tower should be tested before decontaminating the cooling tower, according to the OSHA manual.”

Make sure you read the full article over at City & State as well as all of our fact based articles and research on the issue. It is imperative that our residents are properly informed.

The newest sites which have tested positive are as follows:

Within the “impact zone”:

  • Chris’ Super Deli, 903 Sheridan Avenue
  • Pyramid Safe Haven, 470 E161st Street
  • Conway Store, 2952-4 3rd Avenue

Outside of the “impact zone”:

  • St. Barnabas Nursing Home, 2175 Quarry Rd.
  • St. Barnabas Hospital, 4422 3rd Avenue

Below is a map of the latest sites which have tested positive for Legionella as well as locations of cases of people who have tested positive for the disease:

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.