The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health Department) is investigating a cluster of Legionnaires’ disease in Central Harlem (ZIP codes 10037 and 10039) and bordering communities.
Nine people have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease since August 9. All have been hospitalized. Seven of the individuals are age 50 years and older.
To date, there have been no deaths associated with this cluster. The NYC Health Department is sampling and testing the water from all cooling tower systems in the area of the cluster. The risk to most people is low, but if you have flu-like symptoms, see a health care provider right away.
Legionnaires' disease is generally associated with bacteria found in water systems, including active cooling towers. The Health Department actively investigates cases of reported Legionnaires’ Disease by sampling and testing water from all active cooling tower systems in the area affected. Building managers will be ordered to disinfect any with positive results.
Legionnaires' disease is a form of pneumonia, very easy to diagnose, and highly treatable with antibiotics.
You should seek medical attention if you have respiratory symptoms, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
This is especially important if you have a medical condition that affects your breathing, like emphysema, or if you are a smoker.
Get more information about Legionnaires’ Disease.