NYC Officials Report 1 Fatality in Legionnaires’ Disease Cluster

NEW YORK (AP) -

New York City health officials have confirmed that one person has died of Legionnaires’ disease in a cluster of 18 cases in one Manhattan neighborhood.

The city Health Department said Tuesday that seven people remain hospitalized due to the outbreak in the lower Washington Heights area.

Health officials say they have inspected 20 cooling towers and ordered several building owners to increase their use of biocides to kill the bacteria associated with the disease.

Legionnaires’ is a form of pneumonia contracted by breathing in water droplets contaminated with the bacterium Legionella. Most cases can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth.

The disease is not passed from person to person.

The city sees an average of 200 to 500 Legionnaires’ cases each year.