Legionella bacteria discovered in Bronx River Houses water supply

Posted: Updated:

Department of Health officials say they're confirming the presence of bacteria related to Legionnaires' disease in the water supply of the Bronx River Houses in Van Nest.

Officials say two tenants at the building have become sick with the disease in the last year.

The Health Department says with building management, it tested the buildings’ water after tenants became sick. The results showed that Legionella bacteria is in the building's water system.

The bacteria, when inhaled through water vapor, can lead to Legionnaires' disease. Officials say they're working to fix the issue.

Resident Leader Norma Sounders says the Bronx River Houses consists of 11 buildings with two other senior buildings. There's also a community center, she says, that's typically used by seniors and children for various programs.

Officials say to prevent contracting the disease, residents should take a bath instead of a shower and not be in the bathroom while the tub is being filled. They also say to check your water while washing dishes to make sure there is no mist coming off the dishes or anywhere around the sink.

Officials say people at risk of getting the disease are typically 50 years old or older, or are people with chronic lung diseases or a weakened immune system.

According to the Department of Health, there is an average of 200 to 500 cases of Legionnaires' in the city. It says contracting it through a building's water supply is low.

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