The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has launched an investigation into a cluster of Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx.
This was disclosed in a statement on Saturday May 21, 2022.
According to the statement, four people have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease since May 9, 2022, and results for other individuals are pending.
"To date, there have been no deaths associated with this possible cluster," the statement reads.
The NYC Health Department is sampling and testing the water from all cooling tower systems in the area of the cluster.
The risk to most people is low, but if you have flu-like symptoms – such as cough, fever, chills, muscle aches, or shortness of breath – see a health care provider right away.
The likely source of the bacteria causing this pneumonia in the community is a cooling tower(s) in the affected area.
Cooling towers are water systems usually found on the top of buildings and are responsible for regulating the temperature of cooling systems such as central air conditioning or refrigeration.
The cooling towers spray mist from the top that can contain the bacteria.
The cooling towers in the impacted area are being identified and sampled by the Health Department.
"If needed, Commissioner’s Orders will be issued to disinfect and clean any affected cooling towers.
"This is not an issue with any building’s plumbing system. It is safe for you to drink water, bathe, shower, cook, and use your air conditioner," the department said in a statement.