New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that because Legionnaires’ Disease has been a persistent public health threat for years in NYC and elsewhere, a more systemic solution is required to prevent the cycle of these outbreaks from continuing.
De Blasio said, “This week, new legislation will be announced designed to halt future outbreaks of Legionnaires’, and place new emphasis on long-term prevention. The comprehensive package will address inspections, new recommended action in the case of positive tests, and sanctions for those who fail to comply with new standards.”
This comes on the same day that the NYC health department announced three additional fatalities, connected to the current Legionnaires’ cluster, bringing the total deaths to 7. All deceased individuals were older adults and had additional underlying medical problems.
As of Aug. 3, 81 individuals have been reported with Legionnaires’ disease, of which, 64 required hospitalization.
Remediation on the five positive cooling towers have been completed-Lincoln Hospital, Concourse Plaza, Opera House Hotel, Verizon and Streamline Plastic Co.
All sites will submit long term plans as to how they will maintain the cooling towers to protect against any future growth of legionella – those plans are due Friday.
“The City continues its immediate response to the current outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in the South Bronx, which includes comprehensive cleaning of infected sites, treatment of those who have contracted the disease, and a vigorous public information campaign to ensure people know the facts”, the Mayor said.