Health officials: 2 Bronx River Houses tenants contracted Legionnaires' in past year

Department of Health officials say two tenants at the Bronx River Houses have gotten sick with Legionnaires' disease in the past year.

Tenants tell News 12 they received a letter from the DOH on Tuesday informing them that water testing will occur. Health and NYCHA officials met with tenants at 1571 and 1575 East 174th Street Wednesday to answer questions.

"The Department of Health and NYCHA wanted to speak about it," says Norma Saunders, the Bronx River Houses resident leader. "We have 11 buildings. Two of the buildings are NYCHA senior buildings. We have a community center which houses seniors and youth programs so we really need to know if we're in danger of getting this disease."

People who are at risk of getting the disease are people 50 and older, especially those who smoke. People with chronic lung diseases or weakened immune systems are also at risk.

Anyone with those health issues can minimize their risk by not taking a shower, even a cold one. The water vapor mist is what spreads Legionnaires'. Instead take a bath, fill it slowly and try not to be in the bathroom while it's filling up. Also be careful washing dishes or doing anything that involves using water. Be sure not to create that vapor mist.

Symptoms of Legionnaires' include fever, chills, muscle aches and a cough.