By Jory Lange

The New York Department of Health is investigating a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at Promenade Assisted Living Facility in Guilderland, New York.  Two people have been infected with Legionella bacteria. One of them has died.

This image depicts two Legionella pneumophila bacterial colonies (arrowheads), amongst other bacterial colonies grown on BCYE (Buffered Charcoal Yeast Extract) agar/CDC
This image depicts two Legionella pneumophila bacterial colonies (arrowheads), amongst other bacterial colonies grown on BCYE (Buffered Charcoal Yeast Extract) agar/CDC

According to the Albany County Health Department, water tested positive for Legionella bacteria at the Promenade Assisted Living Facility.  Promenade Assisted Living Facility is on Western Avenue in Guilderland, New York.

Legionnaires’ disease can be spread by tiny water droplets that have been contaminated with Legionella bacteria.  Cooling towers, showers, hot tubs, fountains, and even faucets can aerosolize tiny water droplets, spreading them in the environment where they can be inhaled by people.  

The elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and people with respiratory problems are especially vulnerable to Legionnaires’ disease.  A severe form of pneumonia, people are often hospitalized after developing Legionnaires’ disease. In some cases, Legionnaires disease can even be fatal.