5 'older adults' dead from Legionnaires' outbreak in NJ

David Caplan
May 24, 2019 - 3:29 pm
 Drugs and syringe for Legionnaires' disease.



NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Five people have died in an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, in New Jersey's Union County, the state's Department of Health announced Friday. 

The agency said it was aware of 22 confirmed cases of the disease in people who live in or visited the county. The affected people became ill between March 8 and May 13. The dead were described as "older adults."

"This is a continuing investigation," New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement. "The risk to any resident of, or recent visitor to Union County is very small. Out of an abundance of caution, the Department recommends that individuals who live in Union County who become ill with pneumonia-like/respiratory symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and headache visit their healthcare provider."

The New Jersey Department of Health  is currently working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments in Union County to investigate this cluster.

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria called Legionella. People can get Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria. The water can come from cooling towers (air-conditioning units for large buildings), cooling misters, decorative fountains, and plumbing systems.  

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