New York City Legionnaires cluster up to 18 cases, 1 death reported

The number of cases of Legionnaires' Disease in a cluster in Upper Manhattan has risen to 18, including one fatality, health officials said Tuesday.

Seven people remain hospitalized following the outbreak in Lower Washington Heights and Upper Hamilton Heights. The person who died has not been identified but is said to be older than 50 with underlying medical conditions.

All suspect cooling towers have been cleaned, and pending final test results, officials believe the cluster has been contained.

Anyone in the area with flu-like symptoms should see a doctor immediately.
60-year-old Lorenzo McDougan is still on a nebulizer, trying to clear out his lungs. Two months after coming down with Legionnaires' disease, he is still not 100 percent.

"I was never that sick in my life," he said.

Lorenzo was diagnosed in May. He is not counted in the latest Legionnaires' cluster in his neighborhood.

"Critical - if you're not feeling well, if you're in a risk group, make sure that you seek medical care," said Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Demeter Daskalakis. .

While nine patients remain hospitalized, officials explain Legionnaires' is easily cured with antibiotics. The key is getting treated immediately.

The health department has pinpointed 20 water cooling towers that might be the culprit. We're told they have all been cleaned and that the problem is now contained.

"You cannot catch Legionnaires' from someone sneezing, coughing, hugging you or shaking your hand. Legionnaires' is not contagious," said City Councilman Mark Levine.

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One person dead from Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Washington Heights

New_York_Daily_News_logo_(2).png By Elizabeth Elizalde and Mikey Light

A person diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after an outbreak in an upper Manhattan neighborhood last week has died, city health officials said Tuesday.

Washington Heights has seen 18 cases of the disease, and nine people have been discharged from the hospital, according to the city Health Department.

Seven people remain hospitalized. The victim was over 50 years old and died in the past week, officials said.

The person, whose identity was not revealed, had other risk factors that potentially compromised his or her health.

Officials added the victim wasn’t diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease early.

“It’s really important if you’re feeling sick to get attention,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the city’s deputy commissioner for disease control.

He warned that the disease came from cooling towers in buildings. Window air conditioning units are not at risk, he said.

City Councilman Mark Levine, whose district covers the neighborhood, said all cooling towers have been inspected and cleaned but there could still be outbreaks because Legionnaires’ has a two-week incubation period.

So far, 20 cooling towers have been tested, but officials didn't say which one’s showed signs of the disease.

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria that grows in warm water, and it can’t be transmitted from person to person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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One Dies of Legionnaires’ Disease in Upper Manhattan

NYTimes.png By Zoe Greenberg

One person has died in connection with a cluster of Legionnaires’ diseasecases in Upper Manhattan, city health officials said on Tuesday.

The city declined to release the name of the person who died, but said he or she was over 50 years old and had risk factors for Legionnaires’ disease. Common risk factors include heavy cigarette smoking, chronic lung disease and a weakened immune system.

“This case was not caught early,” said Mark Levine, a City Council member who represents the area and who had been briefed by the city. He added that the person had died in the last week.

In total, 18 people have been sickened in the area. City officials said the cluster of cases was found between 145th and 165th streets.

Nine people have been released from hospitals, according to Demetre Daskalakis, the deputy commissioner of disease control for the city. Seven are still in the hospital; one was treated as an outpatient.

Typically, Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with antibiotics.

The disease is a serious type of pneumonia commonly caused by breathing in water vapor that contains Legionella bacteria. The disease is more common in the summer, because the bacteria thrive in warm water, which can be found in cooling towers, hot water tanks and condensers in large air-conditioning units.

The city has tested 20 cooling towers but has not yet identified the source of the bacteria, Dr. Daskalakis said, because cell cultures taken from both people and cooling towers take time to grow. He added that the city had treated the water in the cooling towers where there was evidence of bacteria present.

Residents of Upper Manhattan who experience flulike symptoms should immediately see a doctor, Dr. Daskalakis said.

“We’re watching carefully,” he explained, “but we’re optimistic that the source from this has been addressed.”

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Legionnaires' disease cases up to 11 in Upper Manhattan

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The city Health Department now says it's investigating 11 cases of Legionnaires' disease in a section of Upper Manhattan.

At least eight people have been taken to the hospital for treatment.

A community meeting was held Thursday night keep residents of Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights informed about the disease.

City Councilman Mark Levine is urging people to get tested if they feel sick.

"It's so important that people who have flu-like symptoms get to a doctor. Just be safe. Don't tough this one out," Levine said.

Legionnaires' is caught by breathing in water vapor that's been contaminated with legionella bacteria.

It's not contagious, and it's treatable if caught early.

The Health Department says it is testing cooling towers in the affected area as it looks for the source of the disease.

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Detectan ocho casos de contagio con bacteria legionario en el Alto Manhattan

ElNuevoDiario.png Por Miguel Cruz Tejada

EL NUEVO DIARIO,NUEVA YORK._ Las autoridades de salud y el concejal dominicano Ydanis Rodríguez, confirmaron que se han detectado ocho casos de contagio con la peligrosa bacteria legionaria en edificios con aires acondicionados centrales en el Alto Manhattan.
Siete de los afectados siguen hospitalizados y uno fue dado de alta.

El concejal Rodríguez, que llamó a los residentes del Alto Manhattan, jurisdicción dentro del distrito 10 que representa en el ayuntamiento, llamó a no alarmarse, diciendo que él y las autoridades están trabajando en todas las medidas posibles para evitar que se produzca un brote como ocurrió en El Bronx recientemente.

La bacteria, cuyos principales síntomas, fiebre, mareos, nausea, diarrea y otros en principio similares a los de una gripe común, se puede contener con antibióticos comunes, si los afectados se tratan a tiempo, de lo contrario, la bacteria arroparía todo el cuerpo causando estragos en órganos vitales.

“No hemos confirmado casos específicos de algún dominicano que haya sido afectado, aunque los ocho contagiados, residente entre las calles 145 a la 170, área mayormente poblada por dominicanos y afroamericanos”, dijo anoche el concejal en una entrevista telefónica con este reportero.

“Esa área cubre la parte sur de Washington Heights (Alto Manhattan) y la parte norte de Hamilton Heights y nos estamos asegurando que no cunda el pánico en esta situación, y que se tomen todas las precauciones, exhortando a las personas que viven en esa franja que tengan síntomas similares a los de la gripe, acudir al médico para ser chequeados y asegurarse de que no han sido contagiados”, agregó el concejal Rodríguez.

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Health Department Probes Community Cluster Of Legionnaires’ Disease In Upper Manhattan

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Health Department confirmed Wednesday it was investigating a community cluster of Legionnaires’ disease in upper Manhattan.

The department says eight people throughout Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights have been diagnosed with the disease in the past week. All but one of the patients was hospitalized, and one of the hospitalized patients has already been discharged according to the department.

The individuals infected range from 40 to over 80 years-old, but the department says most of them were over 50 and above.

The health department says they’re investigating the eight cases and testing water from nearby cooling tower systems.

A community meeting will be held at Saint Luke’s AME Church located at 1872 Amsterdam Ave. Thursday night.

New Yorkers with flu-like symptoms, cough, fever, or difficulty breathing should contact a doctor immediately. The disease isn’t contagious and can be treated by antibiotics if caught early, but can be spread if people breathe in water vapor that contains Legionnaires’ bacteria.

There have been no deaths associated with the current cluster.

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Legionnaires’ disease outbreak reported in Washington Heights

NewYorkPost.pngBy Carl Campanile

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has hit Washington Heights, with eight residents sickened by the bacteria-borne illness over the past week, officials reported Wednesday.

Seven of the eight patients have been hospitalized, and one has been discharged, officials said.

No deaths have been reported from the cluster.

Ages of the patients range from under 40 to over 80.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by the bacteria Legionella, which grows in warm water. Symptoms resemble other types of pneumonia and can include fever, chills, muscle aches and cough.

Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth, such as cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks and condensers for large air-conditioning systems.

Investigators are testing water towers in the northern Manhattan neighborhood where the cluster occurred to identify the source.

“While most people exposed to Legionella don’t get sick, individuals ages 50 and above, especially those who smoke and have chronic lung conditions, are at a higher risk. This disease is very treatable with antibiotics. I encourage anyone with symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease to seek care early,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.

Manhattan Council member Mark Levine, the Health Committee chairman who represents the area said, “In the past Legionnaires’ outbreaks have led to fatalities. We take this very seriously.”

The Health Department will hold a community meeting at Saint Luke’s AME Church, 1872 Amsterdam Ave., on Thursday at 7 p.m. to discuss the outbreak.

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Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak In Washington Heights Sickens 8

Patch-Logo.png By Brendan Krisel

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — The New York City Health Department is investigating a cluster of Legionnaires' Disease reported in Washington Heights.

Eight people fell ill with Legionnaires' Disease in the past seven days in Washington Heights, city health officials said. All but one of the people who contracted the disease were hospitalized and one person has since been discharged from the hospital, officials said.

None of the cases have proved deadly, health officials said.

"The Health Department has identified a cluster of Legionnaires' disease in the Lower Washington Heights area," said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. "While most people exposed to Legionella don't get sick, individuals ages 50 and above, especially those who smoke and have chronic lung conditions, are at a higher risk. This disease is very treatable with antibiotics. I encourage anyone with symptoms of Legionnaires' disease to seek care early."

The ages of people sickened in Washington Heights range from 40- to 80-years-old, but a majority of the cases were people older than 50, health officials said.

The city Health Department will test water samples from cooling towers in buildings near the outbreak, officials said. The department listed the area of the outbreak as "lower Washington Heights," but did not provide details as to what that area entails. A Health Department spokeswoman told Patch that the department does not disclose the specific locations of outbreaks.

A community meeting will be held at Saint Luke's AME at 1872 Amsterdam Ave., located between West 152nd and 153rd streets, to discuss the outbreak. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., health officials said.

Legionnaires' symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea and generally surface two to 10 days after contact with the bacteria Legionella. Common culprits in the spread of the Legionella bacteria include cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems, the Department of Health said.

The disease cannot be spread from one person to another, the Department of Health said in a statement.

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New Yorkers sleeping less and eating more takeout, studies find

AMNY.pngBy Lisa L. Colangelo, Abigail Weinberg and Grace Moon

We really are the city that never sleeps — and that’s not the half of it!

New Yorkers are having trouble sleeping, eating more takeout food and spending at least three hours a day staring at screens, according to a series of health studies being released on Tuesday.

Researchers from the NYU School of Medicine and the city Health Department looked at issues including sleep, obesity, depression and diabetes using data from a citywide survey.

“In general, people who live in cities tend to fare worse than people who don’t live in cities,” said Lorna Thorpe, professor and director of the Division of Epidemiology at NYU Langone Health. “You see that in other studies because there are more people in poverty and a diverse population.

“But in some instances we are doing better than the national average,” added Thorpe, who is also vice chair of the Department of Population Health. “New York City has lower obesity levels. We’ve really seen a decline in secondhand smoke.”

The number of city dwellers deemed obese jumped from 27.5 percent in 2004 to 32.4 percent in 2013-14, according to the studies. But nationwide the increase was over 31 percent compared to roughly 15 percent in the city.

Black adults in New York City had the highest incidence of obesity at 37.1 percent, while Asian adults marked the largest increase, from 20.1 percent to 29.2 percent.

“In South Korea, meat is extremely expensive compared to here in the states,” said Sara Soonsik Kim, director of public health for the Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York. “As a result, when immigrants arrive in the U.S., they tend to consume a lot of beef, pork, chicken, rather than vegetables. This increased meat consumption leads to being overweight, higher levels of cholesterol and health issues.”

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How Monica is making it happen this week

Pix_11.png By Monica Morales

NEW YORK — City officials say 21 public housing developments with 2,400 apartments will get $400 million in renovations, paid for by the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and new federal Section 8 funding.

Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement at Campos Plaza I, a 875-apartment complex on the Lower East Side that recently underwent renovations under the Section 8 plan.

The 2012 initiative, called the Rental Assistance Demonstration, promises to upgrade 15,000 NYCHA apartments by 2025.

“All New Yorkers deserve to live in safe and decent housing, which is why we’ve been investing in NYCHA since the first day of my Administration to reverse the decades of neglect,” de Blasio said. “The City is leveraging every tool available to deliver critically needed repairs without raising the rent. We will never stop fighting to improve the quality of life for NYCHA residents.”

NYCHA will begin resident engagement this summer at the 21 developments across Manhattan and Brooklyn:

Manhattan sites:

  • 335 East 111th Street
  • Manhattanville Rehab (Group 2)
  • Manhattanville Rehab (Group 3)
  • Park Avenue-East 122nd, 123rd Streets
  • Public School 139 (Conversion)
  • Samuel (MHOP) I
  • Samuel (MHOP) II
  • Samuel (MHOP) III
  • Washington Heights Rehab (Groups 1&2)
  • Washington Heights Rehab Phase III
  • Washington Heights Rehab Phase IV (C)
  • Washington Heights Rehab Phase IV (D)
  • Fort Washington Avenue Rehab
  • Grampion

Brooklyn sites:

  • Armstrong I
  • Armstrong II
  • 572 Warren Street
  • Berry Street-South 9th Street
  • Marcy Avenue-Greene Avenue Site A
  • Marcy Avenue-Greene Avenue Site B
  • Weeksville Gardens
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