A Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City has sickened 18 people, killing one of them, according to city health officials. Seven people remain hospitalized.
The Legionnaires’ disease attorneys at Pritzker Hageman represent clients nationwide who have been sickened or who have lost loved ones in Legionnaires’ outbreaks at hotels, health care settings, businesses and Veterans’ Administration buildings. In 2016, our Legionnaires’ team represented more than half of the 23 victims of a Legionnaires outbreak in Minnesota including the family of one person who died.
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Legionnaires’ Disease Facts
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia that is spread when water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria are inhaled. It is not transmitted through person-to-person contact.
Legionella bacteria are often found in pools, hot tubs, fountains, spas and the cooling towers, hot water tanks and plumbing or air-conditioning systems of large buildings
The flu-like symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease usually develop within two to 10 days of exposure and last about a week. They include:
- High fever
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
Washington Heights Legionnaires’ Outbreak
The people sickened in the Washington Heights Legionnaires’ disease outbreak range in age from 40 to 80 years old. The person who died was over 50 and had underlying health conditions, according to local media reports. Other demographic information about the outbreak victims has not been released by health authorities.
The source of the outbreak has not yet been discovered. All of the cooling towers in the affected areas have been cleaned and health officials are awaiting results to confirm that they are not contaminated with Legionella bacteria.