A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak was confirmed in New York City earlier in the summer; however, investigations continue as additional deadly cases have been confirmed in other states.
A Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak was confirmed in New York City earlier in the summer; however, investigations continue as additional deadly cases have been confirmed in other states.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed that Legionnaires’ Disease broke out in the South Bronx on July 10. The disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by the bacterium Legionella, which grows in warm water. Five out of 17 cooling towers tested positive for the bacteria. A total of 116 people were sickened and 12 died from the infection. On August 10, the Opera House Hotel in the Bronx was deemed the source of the infection and officials declared that the outbreak was over on August 20. However, that isn’t the end of the deadly disease.
An investigation continues in California as prisoners at the San Quentin State Prison (SQ) have been diagnosed. On August 26, the first inmate was transported to an outside hospital where Legionnaires’ Disease was confirmed. As of September 2, six inmates have been diagnosed and another 95 were under observation for respiratory illness, according to an update from The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Water usage has been limited until determined to be safe.
“Administrators at [SQ] continue to restore services to inmates as the investigation continues into the source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak,” the statement said.
Officials in Illinois are now addressing an outbreak all their own. On September 1, the Illinois Department of Public Health released a statement confirming that seven of 39 individuals diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease at the Illinois Veterans’ Home-Quincy had died. In addition, four cases in Quincy with one resulting in death were verified on September 2.
“We have thoroughly investigated each confirmed case for a connection with the outbreak, as well as any possible connection to one another. At this time, we have found no connections,” Jerrod Welch, administrator at the Adams County Health Department, said in a news release.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified 10 things that healthcare workers need to know about Legionnaires’ Disease:
2. Who to Test
3. How to Test
4. Respiratory Specimen for Diagnosis
5. Preferred Treatment
6. Ask Patients About Travel
7. Frequency of Disease
8. Sources of Legionella
9. Risk Factors
10. How to Report Diagnosis