New York City

Cluster of Legionnaires' Disease Found in Bronx: What to Know

No deaths have been associated with the cluster, the health department said

Legionnaires disease
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The New York City Health Department announced on Friday that it was investigating a community cluster of Legionnaires' disease in part of the Bronx.

At least four people have been diagnosed with the illness since May 9, with more results still pending. The cluster was found in the Highbridge section of the Bronx (10452 and 10456 ZIP codes) as well as surrounding communities.

No deaths have been associated with the cluster, the health department said. Water from all cooling tower systems in the area is being sampled by the health department as part of the investigation.

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by the Legionella bacteria, which the health department said grows in warm water. Infections come as a result of breathing in water vapor that contains that bacteria.

Symptoms are described as flu-like, including cough, fever and difficulty breathing. Any city residents experiencing those symptoms should contact a physician immediately, the health department said.

"Legionnaires’ disease can be effectively treated if diagnosed early, but New Yorkers at higher risk, like adults aged 50 and older, those who smoke or have chronic lung conditions should be especially mindful of their symptoms and seek care as soon as symptoms begin," said NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.

Legionnaires' disease is not contagious, the health department said, and is can be treated with antibiotics if caught early on.

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