City health officials reported Wednesday that two people have died and four are currently hospitalized following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in a Bronx neighborhood.
The two people who died in the Highbridge community were over 50 and “had risk factors for serious illness”, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said.
Within a week, confirmed cases in the neighborhood jumped to 24 — health officials only confirmed 10 cases on May 24.
The initial outbreak began as early as May 3, according to a department report.
The Department of Health last week launched a remediation process for four cooling towers in Highbridge which tested positive for the presence of Legionella pneumophila, a bacteria which can cause a serious lung infection known as lung disease. legionnaire.
Asked if officials plan to handle the latest surge in cases, department representative Michael Lanza told the Post, “All 24 cases of the disease had onset dates prior to [treatment of the cooling towers].”
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that develops in hot water and generally resembles other types of pneumonia. The disease can be caused by plumbing systems such as cooling towers, hot tubs, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks and evaporative condensers of large air conditioning systems, according to the report. .
People most at risk of getting Legionnaires’ disease are people aged 50 and over, cigarette smokers, and people with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems.
City health officials are urging anyone in the affected area with flu-like symptoms, fever, cough or difficulty breathing to seek immediate medical attention.