What to Know
- Residents in a public housing complex concerned about water quality after two tenants became sick with Legionnaires’ over the past year
- The New York City Department of Health say there were two cases at the Bronx River Houses, but residents say they didn't know
- Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella, which tends to grow in warm water
Residents in a public housing complex are concerned about water quality after two tenants became sick with Legionnaires’ disease over the past year.
The New York City Department of Health say there were two cases at the Bronx River Houses, but residents say they were caught off guard and didn’t know there was a problem — leading many to worry, including Maggie who says she is concerned if there is an outbreak because she has children.
“I haven’t heard anything,” resident Eric Webb said, adding that it is a concern “’cause I drink the water.”
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella, which tends to grow in warm water.
Concerns over the water quality within the complex has arisen among residents after learning about the two cases of Legionnaires’.
“Sometimes the water tastes different, we’ve noticed that, sometimes it comes black,” resident Ana Manzano said.
The disease is contracted by breathing in water droplets contaminated with the bacterium. In most cases, the bacterium can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth.
Health officials say people over 50 years of age or with compromised immune systems should avoid creating water vapor mist when washing dishes, showering or brushing teeth.
Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough and even diarrhea. The most vulnerable are children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
The disease is not passed from person to person, with most cases of the disease treated with antibiotics.
“There’s a lot of elderly people they live here and I have children.... that would be a danger to them,” Maggie, a resident at the Bronx River Houses, said.
Officials say the risk of residents contracting Legionnaires’ is very low.
The largest Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the city happened in 2015 and resulted in the death of 12 people and over 100 more falling ill in the South Bronx.
Statistics from the city’s Health Department show that between 200 to 500 people are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease every year in New York.