2 Legionnaires' cases reported at NYCHA complex

Posted: Updated:

The New York City Department of Health is investigating two cases of Legionnaires' disease in a Kingsbridge NYCHA building.

The department says the two occurrences happened in the last twelve months at the Fort Independence Houses, but it is not considered an outbreak or related to cooling towers.

Tenants say they are frustrated with the city's Department of Health for not telling them sooner about two cases of Legionnaires' disease in their building. The flyer that informed them about the occurrences says the department notifies residents when there are two or more cases reported in a building during a 12-month period.

Legionnaires' disease is a pneumonia-like illness caused by inhaling water vapor containing legionella bacteria. There are 200 to 500 cases of the disease in New York City annually.

In a statement, the Department of Health says, "Both patients have risks for Legionnaires' disease and have been discharged from the hospital. The Department of Health will evaluate the building's plumbing to look for evidence of legionella bacteria in the building's water system."

Though the two reported cases in the complex have different addresses, the buildings are connected and share the same plumbing system.

Resident can still use and drink their water, but those with a higher risk of getting the disease are advised to take extra steps.

The Department of Health says that Legionnaires' disease is not contagious and is easily treatable.

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