NYC Health Department Closes Probe of Legionnaires' Outbreak After 2 Deaths

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The Legionnaires' disease outbreak in the Bronx that claimed two lives and hospitalized more than two dozen others has ended, New York City health officials said Friday.

It's been four weeks since the last new case, the Health Department reported, and through its investigation found 30 connected cases -- 28 of which leads to hospitalizations. Four people were still admitted as of Friday.

The Legionnaires' cases had been linked to a cluster affecting two ZIP codes in the borough's Highbridge neighborhood and bordering communities: 10452 and 10456.

The two individuals who died were over the age of 50 and had health risk factors for severe disease, according to health officials.

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

An average of 200-500 Legionnaires’ disease cases are reported in the city every year.

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