Legionnaires' outbreak prompts New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to introduce new cooling tower regulations

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, August 4, 2015

SOUTH BRONX, N.Y. (WABC) -- New York City's mayor said he's going to present new legislation this week for the regulation of cooling towers, which have been tied to the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the South Bronx.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the new law will require inspections, sanctions and other regulations for property owners whose buildings test positive for the disease. The new law is expected to help curb future outbreaks.

"Legionnaires' disease outbreaks have become far too common over the past 10 years, and the city will respond not by only addressing an outbreak as it occurs but with a new plan to help prevent these outbreaks from happening in the first place," he said.

De Blasio said that in trying to narrow the source of the outbreak, health officials realized there were no regulations in how the towers should be kept clean or treated to prevent any bacteria growth.

The Legionnaires' outbreak in the South Bronx is the largest in the city's history, a health official said, and the number of new cases is slowing. So far, there have been seven deaths in connection with this particular outbreak and 86 total confirmed cases.

Keep checking abc7NY for the latest on this developing story.

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