By Jory Lange
The New York City Health Department is testing the water at Manhattan Plaza, 400 West 43rd Street, after two building residents were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. According Department of Health Commissioner Barbot, “The New York City Health Department is working with building management to test the water in your building because two tenants have been reported sick with Legionnaires’ disease within the past 12 months.”
People can contract Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in water vapor or aspirating water that has been contaminated with legionella bacteria.
Legionnaires disease is caused by legionella bacteria. These bacteria thrive in warm water. When not properly maintained and treated, cooling towers, whirlpool spas, and decorative fountains can become contaminated with legionella. The mist that these man-made water systems release into the air can then carry the bacteria into people’s lungs, where they cause infection and disease.
People over 50, with weakened immune systems, or with chronic lung problems are more susceptible to developing Legionnaires’ disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia. Typical symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease often include:
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain, nausea, or watery diarrhea
- Weakness or fatigue
- Change in mental state (e.g., confusion)
- High fever with chills
- Muscle aches