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August 7, 2015: Bronx Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Update

South Bronx Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak – In its August 7, 2015, outbreak update the NYC Health Department reports that 10 people have died and 101 have fallen ill in Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the South Bronx. Ninety-four of those sickened have required hospitalization. The first case linked to the outbreak was reported on July 10, 2015. The outbreak is linked to local contaminated water cooling towers.

Legionnaires’ Disease – NYC Health Commissioner’s Orders

The outbreak investigation has focused five cooling towers in the South Bronx that have tested positive for Legionella, a type of bacterium responsible for causing this potentially fatal respiratory disease. On August 6, 2015, the NYC Health Commissioner issued an order requiring all owners of buildings with cooling towers to:

  • Disinfect all of the building’s cooling towers within 14 days of receiving the order by mail.
  • Keep cooling tower inspection and disinfection records at each building, and provide records to City officials when asked for.
  • If the cooling tower was inspected and disinfected within the last 30 days, maintain records of the inspection and remediation. Make records available to the City upon request.

In addition, the Commissioner’s order requires that building owners “hire environmental consultants with demonstrated experience performing disinfection using current industry standard protocols…..”

About Legionnaires’ Disease

According to the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Legionella bacteria are not transmitted from person to person. In other words, the disease is not contagious. Legionnaires’ disease is contracted when people breathe in a mist of water (or water vapor) contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Most Legionnaires’ disease patients will have pneumonia since the bacteria can grow and thrive in the lungs. The CDC states that “Keeping Legionella bacteria out of water is the key to preventing infection.”1

For a Free Personal Injury Lawsuit Evaluation, Contact Attorney Eric Weinberg

The Law Firm of Eric H. Weinberg is currently assisting those injured by infections related to environmental contamination. For a free personal injury lawsuit evaluation, contact our law firm toll free at 1-877-934-6274. You can also contact our lawyers by submitting the online “Free Legal Evaluation Form” found on this page. Located in New Brunswick, NJ, Eric Weinberg is admitted to the New Jersey and New York State Bars.

References:
1.) www.cdc.gov/legionella/fastfacts.html. Accessed August 8, 2015.

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