Alert and Fact Sheet on Legionnaires’ Disease

The Health Department is investigating an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in the South Bronx, primarily affecting persons who live in High Bridge, Morrisania, Hunts Point, and Mott Haven. Since July 8, 2015, 71 cases of Legionella infection, including four related deaths, have been reported among people who live in, work in, or visit this area.

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has provided this update on the Clinical Management of Respiratory Illness in the South Bronx. Please Share this Alert with All Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Primary Care, HIV Specialists, Infectious Disease, and Internal Medicine Staff in Your Facility.

If you are a journalist and would like to connect with NYCOSH to discuss infection control measures and how workers can be protected please email Monica Novoa at mnovoa@nycosh.org.

What is Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is the common name for illnesses caused by Legionnaires’ disease bacteria (LDB). The formal name for the diseases is Legionellosis. Legionnaires’ disease is an infect ion of the lungs that is a form of pneumonia. In addition to Legionnaires ‘ disease, the same bacteria can also cause a flu -like disease called Pontiac fever.

Legionnaires’ disease is named after an outbreak of pneumonia that caused 34 deaths at a 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. There are over 25,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease each year in the U.S., with more than 4,000 deaths. Most cases are individual cases and are not associated an outbreak (multiple cases at the same location or from the same source). The fatality rate is around 15% – similar to other forms of pneumonia. However, fewer than 5 out of 100 people exposed to LDB -contaminated water develop Legionnaires’ disease. More from NYCOSH’s Understanding Legionnaires’ disease Fact Sheet for workers and unions.

En Español:

Baje la hoja informativa de NYCOSH para trabajadores y organizaciones sindicales, acerca de la enfermedad del legionero. Existen requisitos cuales protegen a todos los trabajadores, incluyendo a los trabajadores indocumentados.