Legionnaire’s Disease: New York City Outbreak Leaves 7 Dead, Another 86 Infected

The Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak has seen not only an increase in the number of confirmed infections, but also in the number of patients who have died as a result of complications from the disease.

According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, as of two days ago, there were a total of 65 confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s Disease, and a total of four deaths. In a short amount of time, the number of confirmed cases has seen an increase, and the number of deaths have almost doubled.

ABC News has reported that the total number of confirmed Legionnaire’s Disease cases has risen to at least 86, and the number of deaths resulting from the disease has since risen to seven. The report stated that the disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria, and “is spread through water droplets that are inhaled,” and that it can be spread “through fountains, shower heads, pools or air conditioning cooling towers.”

City and Health officials have been working hard to identify where the outbreak began and, according to the Washington Post, investigators have since identified and disinfected five air-conditioning cooling towers in the South Bronx, all of which tested positive for the Legionella bacteria.

While it is still unclear as to how the towers became infected in the first place, officials have reassured the public that they have scrubbed the infected cooling towers by hand with a mixture of bleach and other chemicals to kill off the bacteria.

Deputy Commissioner for disease control Jay Varma reportedly told NBC News that authorities hope that the disinfection of the contaminated cooling towers would be enough to stop the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak.

“We hope that there are no more cases, and certainly hope no more deaths, but do expect additional cases simply because there could be people who may have been infected before the cooling towers were cleaned.”

While the exact source of the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak is still under investigation, during a press conference Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said that it is believed that one of the five contaminated air-conditioning cooling towers was the source of the outbreak, though more testing is still needed in order to confirm this.

Loading...

In order help stop the outbreak, the New York City Health Department is working alongside the medical community and the general public to try and track down exactly where the infected patients may have come in contact with the Legionella bacteria, and according to ABC News, DeBlasio said in a statement that he will be introducing legislation designed to cut down on future Legionnaire’s disease outbreaks.

“The comprehensive package will address inspections, new recommended action in the case of positive tests, and sanctions for those who fail to comply with new standards. Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks have become far too common over the past ten years.”

Stay with the Inquisitr as more information on the current Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak becomes available.

[Image via Shutterstock]