New York City officials say 10 people have died in the outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease centered in the South Bronx, and a total of 100 cases have been diagnosed. The disease is caused by breathing in mist contaminated by a certain bacteria.
Officials say the outbreak has been traced to cooling towers. Five towers in the South Bronx tested positive for legionella bacteria and have since been decontaminated.
The city’s Health Department on Thursday ordered that within the next 14 days, all buildings with cooling towers be tested and any found contaminated be disinfected. Failure to comply would be a misdemeanor.
Health officials say Legionnaires’ disease is easily diagnosed and treated with antibiotics but can pose a serious risk to anyone with an underlying medical condition.