Health officials in New York City are investigating after a dozen people became sick with Legionnaires’ disease in Queens.
The cases are all in Flushing and all 12 people have become sick in recent weeks. Five patients are recovering in the hospital, while the other seven have already been treated and released.
“The Health Department is currently investigating a cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases in the downtown Flushing area of Queens, and I urge individuals in this area with respiratory symptoms to seek medical attention right away. People over the age of 50 and people with compromised immune systems are especially at risk,” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said.
Legionnaires’ cannot be spread person to person. People at high risk include those 50 and older, especially cigarette smokers and those with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems.
The Health Department has sampled all cooling towers in the investigation zone.
“As with our previous Legionnaires’ disease investigations, we are in the process of investigating the source of the cluster and are working with building owners in the area to rapidly test and clean cooling towers,” Bassett said.
There are between 200 and 400 cases of Legionnaires’ disease every year in New York City.
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