19 diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease in Bronx; 1 death

NEW YORK (AP) — An outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in a Bronx neighborhood has sickened 19 people since the beginning of the month, with one person dying, city health officials said Wednesday.

The Health Department said cooling towers in the borough’s Highbridge section had been tested for the presence of the bacteria Legionella which causes the disease, a form of pneumonia. The bacteria was found in four of the towers, which the department ordered to be disinfected.

In addition to the person who died, eight people have been hospitalized, the department said.

People can get Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in water vapor with the bacteria. It isn’t contagious, and can be treated with antibiotics, but can be dangerous for some people, like those with pre-existing conditions. Symptoms include muscle aches, fever and chills.

New York City has had Legionnaires’ outbreaks before, notably in 2015 when 12 people died and more than 100 were infected.