Jul 20, 2018

First Legionnaires' Cluster of the Year in New York City

18 cases have been reported in the Legionnaires' cluster of Upper Manhattan, N.Y.

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease has been reported in Lower Washington Heights and Upper Hamilton Heights, N.Y. 18 cases of the disease have been reported, resulting in at least nine hospitalizations and one fatality. The New York City Department of Health has inspected 20 cooling towers and ordered several building owners to increase their use of biocides, as reported by NBC New York.

The cooling towers in questions are between 145th and 155th streets in Upper Manhattan and all of the people infected are older than 50 years old. City health officials said that this is the year’s first cluster outbreak where people across different buildings have fallen ill. According to The New York Times, between 200 and 500 people are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease across New York City annually.

As the year continues, it remains to be seen if 2018 will catch up to the record number of Legionnaires’ disease across New York state seen in 2017. According to the Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease, 2017 saw 1,009 cases reported to the CDC–a38% increase from 2016. Among these reported cases, a troubling 441 cases–a 65% increase from 2016–were reported in New York City.