Health Department investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx

Health Department investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx

Health investigators have confirmed the presence of Legionella bacteria at a hotel in Hampton, where an outbreak of Legionnaires disease has infected 14 people and caused one death, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said. "The Sands Resort will immediately notify current and future guests of the Legionella outbreak and take steps to remediate the premise plumbing system in order to mitigate the risk to the public's health".

Patients can contract Legionnaires' disease, a serious type of pneumonia, when they breathe in small, airborne droplets of water that contain the bacteria, which can grow in a building's water system.

No one answered the phone at the hotel Monday morning.

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. An elderly person died of complications from the disease. Legionella is commonly found in the environment, particularly in freshwater, groundwater, and soil.

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DPHS and experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working diligently to identify a potential source of the bacteria.

Test results from other locations in the affected area are still pending.

The disease can not be spread through person-to-person contact, nor by drinking contaminated water. A spokesperson said there have been fewer than 10 cases reported. The symptoms are similar to general pneumonia, which includes cough, fever, headaches, muscle ache, and shortness of breath.

Those with symptoms should call their doctor and ask about testing for Legionnaires' disease.

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