Twelve people are dead following the Legionnaires’ outbreak in the Bronx, and over 120 people have been infected in total. However, the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, feels that the worst of the outbreak may be over, saying, “We remain confident that this outbreak is contained.” The new cases that have surfaced are patients who were previously sick and have had their diagnosis reclassified as Legionnaires’.
However, the New York City health commissioner is warning against believing that the disease is completely eradiated from the city. Each year, there are still sporadic cases that are not necessarily associated with an outbreak. Although Legionnaires’ disease is rare, there are still cases that surface. However, there are underlying health problems in the city that could make future outbreaks more likely to happen.
A representative for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention praised the city’s administration for reacting quickly to news of the outbreak.
About Legionnaires’ Disease
A type of pneumonia, Legionnaires’ disease is caused by bacteria. Most patients get it by breathing in water mist that contains the bacteria from showers, large air conditioning units, and hot tubs. Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from one person to another.
The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include cough, chills, fever, headaches, and muscle aches, similar to other types of pneumonia. Lab testing and a chest x-ray can help to diagnose the disease.
Not everyone who is exposed to the bacteria gets sick. Older people and those who smoke, have a weakened immune system, or have a chronic lung disease are more likely to get sick. Although the disease is life threatening, it is treatable with an antibiotic.