Drugs and syringe for Legionnaires' disease.

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8 Hospitalized in latest Washington Heights Legionnaires’ outbreak

October 08, 2018 - 12:42 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The city health department is holding a community meeting Monday night, to discuss the second cluster of Legionnaires' Disease that's turned up in Washington Heights.

Eight people have been diagnosed with the illness in five days. They range in age from about 40 to 80 and were all hospitalized -- one has since been released.

Health officials say they've traced the legionella bacteria to a cooling tower attached to commercial air conditioning units.

"Although the risk is very low, we urge residents and people who work in the area to take precautions. Legionnaires‘ disease is not contagious and can be treated with common antibiotics if caught early. Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever or difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately,” acting health commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said.

Legionnaires' grows in warm water and can often be traced to plumbing systems like cooling towers, whirpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and air-conditioning systems.

Monday's meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Jackie Robinson Recreation Center at 85 Bradhurst Ave.