The New York City Department of Health has confirmed that a second Bronx resident has died as a result of the latest legionnaires’ outbreak in the Highbridge section of The Bronx which has sickened 24 people since it was first reported almost two weeks ago.
Since the outbreak was first detected across the 10452 and 10456 zip codes of Highbridge, the Department of Health has tested water cooling towers in the area and was able to pinpoint four that tested positive for the bacteria which causes a pneumonia-like infection.
According to the Department of Health, the two victims were over 50, a key demographic of those most susceptible to the disease which puts you at a higher risk of developing serious complications.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ include fever, chills, coughing, and muscle aches. Others may also experience diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.
Those exhibiting such symptoms are encouraged to reach out to their health care providers immediately.
Individuals most at risk for Legionnaires’ are those over 50, smokers, have chronic long disease, a weakened immune system, or are taking medication that weakens your immune system.
The Department of Health notes that:
“You can only get Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in water vapor containing the bacteria from sources such as cooling towers, showers and hot tubs. People who are sick with this disease cannot make others sick.
“You cannot get Legionnaires’ disease by drinking water that has Legionella bacteria. It is fine to drink cold water from the tap. When heating water for tea, coffee or cooking, start with cold water.”
The Bronx isn’t new to Legionnaires’ and was the center of New York City’s largest outbreak in 2015 which killed 16 residents and sickened hundreds throughout the South Bronx.