NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City’s Department of Health says a second community in Washington Heights has been affected by an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.
City health officials say eight cases of the disease were reported in a five-day period.
All eight were hospitalized and one patient has reportedly been discharged. All of the infected Washington Heights residents were between 40 and 80 years old, with most of the patients over the age of 50.
“The Health Department has sampled 20 cooling towers within a mile radius; cooling towers that test positive for legionella will immediately be ordered to increase biocide,” the city’s Department of Health said in a press release Friday.
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria in warm water. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, and cough.
Most Legionnaires’ cases in New York have been traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for legionella bacteria growth.
The Health Department says they will hold a community meeting on Monday at The Jackie Robinson Recreation Center at 85 Bradhurst Avenue at 6 p.m. to provide the Washington Heights area with more information on the outbreak.