1 dead, 6 others ill from Legionnaires' disease cluster on Upper East Side

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Legionnaires' found on Upper East Side
1 dead, 6 others ill from Legionnaires'

LENOX HILL, Manhattan (WABC) -- One person has died and six others have been sickened from Legionnaires' disease on Manhattan's Upper East Side, health officials announced Friday.

The New York City Health Department announced the community cluster of the disease Friday. All seven cases have been confirmed in the last seven days. The area impacted is the Lenox Hill neighborhood, which runs from East 60th Street to East 77th Street.

Four of those infected with the disease are still hospitalized, two have been discharged and the person who died was in his/her 90s and had significant underlying health conditions.

"We wouldn't want any doctor to say well this is such and such street, they shouldn't worry, anyone in the Lenox Hill area should be alert," said Dr. Mary Bassett, Commissioner NYC Health.

"I think everyone is concerned that this could be a repeat of the Bronx, I'm hoping that the Department of Health already having inspected 100 cooling towers will make a difference because it's not happening after the fact," Councilman Ben Kallos said.

Test results are still pending for 116 cooling towers. The city posted signs on the Second Avenue Subway Station at 72nd Street to let people know what is going on.

Legionnaires' disease is caused when water tainted with Legionella bacteria is inhaled into the lungs. It's a severe form of pneumonia in which the lungs become inflamed due to infection.

Learn more about Legionnaires' disease.

The health department said symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear two to 10 days after significant exposure to Legionella bacteria.

MORE INFORMATION: Click here to follow all of our coverage of the Legionnaires' disease