Legionnaires' cases reported at NYCHA complex

Lynette PayneSep 05, 2018

Most people who come in contact with the bacteria will not get sick, although severe illness can occur, sometimes resulting in death, as already seen.

The risk to the public is low but state and local health experts agree this is an unusually high number of cases for New Hampshire. "The Department of Health will evaluate the building's plumbing to look for evidence of legionella bacteria in the building's water system".

Officials said tenants can still use and drink water "but tenants at higher risk of getting Legionnaires' disease will be advised to take additional precautions".

Preliminary results from lab testing are expected to be available in the next one to two weeks. Public health officials plan to provide an update on the outbreak on Tuesday.

Legionnaires' is a type of bacterial pneumonia that is contracted by breathing in small droplets of water in the air which contain the Legionella bacteria. It can not be contracted by drinking or coming into physical contact with water containing the bacteria, such as during swimming, for example.

Officials wouldn't release details about the fatality, but did say the individual was elderly.

NH DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers issued the order after initial tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detected the presence of the Legionella bacteria from multiple sources within the Sands Resort water system, including, but not limited to the hot tub spa.

Symptoms of Legionnaires' Disease include cough, shortness of breath, fever, and muscle aches.

Legionnaires' disease is treated with antibiotics and often requires hospitalization. People who take drugs that weaken their immune system, such as chemotherapy, or suffer from underlying illnesses like diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure, are also at a greater risk.

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