Free treatment offered in Bronx for Legionnaire's disease

MORRIS PARK, N.Y. (WABC) -- An Urgent Care office is offering treatment for Legionnaire's disease in the Bronx.

One death is now associated with the latest newly discovered cluster of Legionnaires' disease cases in the Bronx.

There have been 13 cases in the Morris Park neighborhood, all with onset dates before September 21. Authorities announced the death Wednesday. Eleven individuals remain hospitalized, while one has been discharged, and all patients had underlying health conditions.

ProHealth Urgent Care at 1049 Morris Park Ave. will start offering evaluations and treatment Friday to seniors and uninsured residents. The service will be offered through Oct. 11. Senior citizens and uninsured residents who live within the 10461 or 10462 zip codes can walk in if they have Legionnaires' symptoms. Co-pays will be waived.

State Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj (D-Bronx) announced the service as part of a partnership with ProHealth Urgent Care in Morris Park.

Legionella is ubiquitous in the environment, and there are typically 200 to 300 cases per year in New York City. Legionnaires' disease is very treatable with antibiotics, and the disease cannot be spread from person to person. Groups at high risk include people who are middle-aged or older, especially cigarette smokers, people with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems. The city's drinking water remains unaffected.

This outbreak comes a little more than a month after the city identified the source of another Legionnaires' disease outbreak in South Bronx and declared that outbreak as being resolved. Officials do not believe the new outbreak is connected with the last one. They added that residents should be vigilant and get treated if they develop symptoms.
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