De Blasio: Bacteria Outbreak Has Been Contained

NEW YORK (AP) -
A state environmental official on Saturday takes a water sample from a cooling tower on the roof of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. (Office of Gov. Cuomo)
A state environmental official on Saturday takes a water sample from a cooling tower on the roof of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. (Office of Gov. Cuomo)

Five more buildings in the Bronx have tested positive for the bacteria that cause the potentially deadly Legionnaires’ disease, though there is no sign that anyone has grown ill from the new sites, New York City officials said Saturday.

Ten people have died in the largest Legionnaires’ outbreak in city history. Seven more reported cases of the disease have been reported in New York, bringing the total to 108, though officials said the outbreak was subsiding.

“We can say with confidence that this outbreak has been contained,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, even as he acknowledged the scope of the outbreak meant the city “was literally in uncharted territory.”

The state sent 150 trained workers to test cooling towers, a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s sudden, muscular intervention into the crisis by saying “we’re taking matters into our own hands.”

That assertion led to yet another chapter in the simmering feud between Cuomo and de Blasio. Even as health officials in both administrations pledged to coordinate, aides sniped at each other in the press and de Blasio bristled when asked about Cuomo’s claim to be leading the effort.

“We took charge on day one. We took matters into our own hands and that’s why this situation is changing,” said de Blasio.