New York’s largest Le­gion­naires out­break kills seven

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

New York’s largest recorded out­break of Le­gion­naires’ dis­ease has killed seven peo­ple and in­fected 86 oth­ers, as the city moved Tues­day to draw up new leg­is­la­tion to halt fu­ture out­breaks.

Sixty-four peo­ple are still be­ing treated for the ill­ness, a form of pneu­mo­nia, in hos­pi­tal since the out­break be­gan on July 10 in the Bronx, the poor­est county in the state.

The dis­ease is spread by a bac­te­ria, which has re­cently been dis­cov­ered in the cool­ing tow­ers of five build­ings in the area.

Of­fi­cials say those who died were older pa­tients and had pre-ex­ist­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions. Le­gion­naires’ dis­ease is not con­ta­gious and can be treated with an­tibi­otics.

Those with chronic lung dis­eases, as well as AIDS and HIV pa­tients are among those most at risk.

“In the con­text of New York City ... we have not had this prob­lem in any ap­pre­cia­ble level and now we’re see­ing a pat­tern it’s ob­vi­ously some­thing we’re go­ing to act on very ag­gres­sively,” New York Mayor Bill de Bla­sio told a news con­fer­ence on Tues­day.

City hall has iden­ti­fied and de­con­tam­i­nated five cool­ing tow­ers, which were found to har­bor the Le­gionella bac­te­ria.

New York’s drink­ing wa­ter sup­ply, foun­tains, shower heads and pools are safe and un­af­fected, author­i­ties say.

Leaflets were dis­trib­uted over the week­end to in­form res­i­dents in the Bronx, where the out­break has been con­cen­trated, and in- vite them to a public meet­ing late Mon­day on the out­break.

The dis­ease, a se­ri­ous pul­monary in­fec­tion, is spread by bac­te­ria that thrive in warm wa­ter, such as that found in hot wa­ter pipes, air- con­di­tion­ing sys­tems and in­dus­trial ponds.

The mayor said the city would un­veil new leg­is­la­tion later this week de­signed to halt fu­ture out­breaks.

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