Legionnaires outbreak in The Bronx detected

The New York City Department of Health has announced that legionnaires disease has been detected in four people in the Highbridge neighborhood of The Bronx.

According to NYCDOH, these infections were detected going back to May 9th and are clustered around the 10452 and 10456 zip codes with results from other individuals presenting similar symptoms still pending.

Legionnaires bacteria

“Any New Yorkers with flu-like symptoms should contact a health care provider as soon as possible,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Legionnaires’ disease can be effectively treated if diagnosed early, but New Yorkers at higher risk, like adults aged 50 and older, those who smoke or have chronic lung conditions should be especially mindful of their symptoms and seek care as soon as symptoms begin.”

The department of health is actively investigating the cluster by testing water from all cooling towers in the impacted area.

This isn’t the first legionnaires outbreak in The Bronx.

In 2015, The Bronx found itself at the center of New York City’s largest legionnaires outbreak which infected hundreds in the South Bronx and killed over a dozen individuals.

According to the Department of Health:

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by the bacteria Legionella, which grows in warm water. Symptoms resemble other types of pneumonia and can include fever, chills, muscle aches, and cough. Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth, such as cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems.

Individuals only get sick by breathing in water vapor containing Legionella bacteria, and the disease is not transmitted from person to person. Individuals at higher risk include those ages 50 and above, cigarette smokers, and people with chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems. People living or working in the area who are experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention with a primary care provider or seek urgent care.

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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.