10th death confirmed in Legionnaires' outbreak in South Bronx; total cases reaches triple digits

SOUTH BRONX, N.Y. (WABC) -- A tenth person has died in connection with the Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York City, and the total number of cases has reached triple digits.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the two additional deaths Thursday, adding that the number of cases is up to 100 since July 10.

All cases have been isolated to sections of the South Bronx.

The increase in numbers doesn't necessarily mean that two more people died overnight, but that two more recent deaths have been tied to Legionnaires' disease.

Of the 100 people who contracted the disease, about 92 of them were hospitalized. Out of those hospitalized, 53 have been discharged. All who have died have had pre-existing medical conditions.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo posted to Twitter Thursday afternoon, saying the state is going to do everything it can to help.

"Sadly, two more New Yorkers have succumbed to Legionnaires'. We are working diligently to help stop the spread of this disease," he posted. We're offering free testing to every building in the state that poses a danger & a team from the @CDCgov is on their way to assist. New Yorkers should rest assured that health officials are prepared to address this very serious situation."

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It's uncertain if efforts by the city so far have stopped the spread, the state Health Department came in Thursday, and they're calling in back up from the National Centers for Disease Control to see if any additional steps need to be taken.

Health officials said they're confident all cases have come from Legionella bacteria in cooling towers at five different locations in the South Bronx. The bacteria is spread by the mist that is emitted from the towers. All towers have since been cleaned.

In response to the increased number of deaths, de Blasio has issued a new health department order. Anyone who owns or controls a building with a cooling tower must test and disinfect their cooling tower within the next 14 days. Failure to follow this order is a misdemeanor offense.

Earlier Thursday, the state health commissioner toured the affected areas in the Melrose section of the South Bronx.

On Tuesday, de Blasio said the numbers were indicating that the peak had been reached and that fewer cases had been reported. At that time, the numbers were seven deaths and 86 total cases.

RELATED: What are the symptoms of Legionnaires' disease?

In the same news conference, Dr. Mary Bassett, the city's health commissioner, said this is the largest outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the city, as far as she knows.

Keep checking abc7NY for the latest on this developing story.

MORE INFORMATION: Click here for everything you need to know about the Legionnaires' outbreak
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