2 Manhattan nursing home deaths linked to Legionnaires' disease outbreak

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Friday, September 16, 2022
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Officials say two people at the Amsterdam Nursing Home in Morningside Heights have died this past year.

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- The New York state Department of Health is investigating a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak at a Manhattan nursing home.

Two people at the Amsterdam Nursing Home in Morningside Heights have died this past year.

Their deaths are linked to the outbreak, though it's not clear if legionella is the primary cause of their deaths.

Legionella bacteria was detected at the nursing home last week, and the health department has identified at least seven possible cases in residents ranging in age from 69 to 93.

As of Friday, three remain in the hospital while two others are recovering at the nursing home.

The source of the infections in the building has not been determined, but water restrictions have been placed on the facility's west wing, where the people with suspected cases lived.

Nursing home officials say they are working closely with the health department and will hand out water bottles to residents for washing and drinking.

The nursing home has also installed "hospital grade" filters on faucets and shower heads in the building.

Legionnaires' disease is not contagious, meaning it doesn't pass from person to person. It is a bacterial infection that can lead to flu like symptoms.

It can be treated by antibiotics if caught early, but it can be deadly if untreated, especially for older adults and people with underlying lung conditions.

Legionnaires' disease is caused by inhaling bacteria, most often from contaminated water vapor from cooling towners, spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks or air conditioning systems.

RELATED: FACTS: What is Legionnaires' disease?

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