NY gov, mayor team up to fight Legionnaires’ as disease hits Rikers prison

Eelke/Flickr
Eelke
/Flickr

RT

Twelve people have died of Legionnaires’ disease since the outbreak began on July 10 in the South Bronx, New York. The governor and mayor have announced a plan to fight the disease, as 115 people remain infected, including an inmate at Rikers Island.

The plan for uniform regulations throughout the state, introduced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday, will mandate maintenance and testing of cooling towers, impose fines for failure to comply, and set up a statewide registry.

Legionnaires’ disease is transmitted by inhaling bacteria from contaminated water and or soil. The bacteria can thrive in cooling towers or evaporative condensers in large air-conditioning systems, commonly found in hospitals, hotels and large office buildings. It cannot be spread from one person to another, but it hits middle-aged or older adults the hardest and is fatal 10 to 15 percent of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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