NYC Legionnaires’ disease Outbreak

There was an outbreak of Legionnaires ‘disease this summer in NYC. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by bacteria (legionella) that grow in warm water (

How local officials, the health department, the mayor’s office, handled the outbreak

In handling the outbreak, the local officials, the health department, and the mayor’s office ordered the shutting of fifteen cooling towers at 6 facilities that tested positive. The mayor’s office also signed a legislation that requires all cooling towers to be inspected, cleaned and disinfected immediately. They encouraged people to be vigilant and very careful. The local officials monitored the outbreak and provided information to city officials and health department to be used addressing the outbreak (Kristin 1).

What factors may have caused this problem?

The factors that caused the problem are warm, wet environment within the towers; dirt sucked by filters from the environment which provides food for the bacteria to multiply and aerosolized mist given off by the towers that transmit Legionnaires ‘disease to passers-by. Other factors include poor housing conditions, higher smoking rates, unhealthy environment and lack of access to physicians and pre-existing health conditions (

What was identified as the source of the outbreak?

The source of the outbreak was contaminated cooling towers. The warm, watery environments in such places provide perfect breading grounds for the bacteria, Legionella (Kristina 1).

Who is at risk for the disease?

Groups of people that are at high risk are individuals who are older or middle-aged, particularly the cigarette smokers, people with immune system that is weakened or chronic lunch cancer and individuals that take immunosuppressive drugs or immune system weakening medicines (

How long did the outbreak in NYC last?

Most of such outbreaks last a long time because they involve just a few sporadic cases. However, the outbreak in NYC lasted just few weeks. According the Mayor’s office, it peaked after just one month (Mueller 1).


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