By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The New York City Health Department reports investigating a cluster of 9 patients who tested positive for Legionella and reside in central Harlem.

Legionella bacteria

Seven patients are ≥ 50 years of age. There have been no deaths associated with this cluster. There are no common sources of exposure among these patients, other than living in the same area of the city.

Health officials are currently testing all cooling towers in the affected area to determine the potential source of exposure.

Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the bacteria Legionella. Additional symptoms include: headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear two to 10 days after significant exposure to Legionella bacteria. Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth, such as whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, cooling towers, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems.

Certain health conditions make you more susceptible to infection to include increasing age, smoking, chronic lung disease, malignancy and diabetes mellitus.

Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with antibiotics.