Possible Legionnaires cluster in Newark

November 3, 2008 5:28:54 PM PST
New Jersey health officials are investigating a possible cluster of Legionnaires' disease cases in Newark and Irvington. New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Donna Leusner says there have been 15 cases of Legionnaires during the month of October - 12 in Newark and three in Irvington.

Leusner says an 82-year-old man has died, but investigators are still trying to determine if it was due to Legionnaires' disease or a pre-existing illness.

Six of the 12 Newark cases and two of the three cases in Irvington are believed to be linked, as they occurred among residents living within a mile-and-a-half radius near the Newark-Irvington border.

Legionnaires' disease is a form of pneumonia that can be spread through plumbing and air conditioning systems and can be fatal for people with weakened immune systems.

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