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One Dead and Six Hospitalized from Legionnaires’ Disease on Upper East Side

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease left one person dead and six hospitalized after contracting the disease in the Lenox Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, WNBC reported Friday.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states online that “less commonly, people can get Legionnaires’ disease by aspiration of drinking water”, which can happen when “water goes down the wrong pipe” and into the digestive tract. The person who died from the disease was in their 90s, while four people are recovering in the hospital and two have been discharged from the hospital, a press release said Friday.The Health Department is actively investigating these cases and has sampled and is testing water from all cooling tower systems within a half kilometer radius of this section of Lenox Hill. Residents in the Lenox Hill area with symptoms are advised to seek medical attention immediately.Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with standard antibiotics used to treat pneumonia.After the 2015 outbreak, the city required building owners to test their cooling towers every few months for Legionella, which is the bacteria that leads to Legionnaires’ disease.According to NYC Health, there are between 200 and 400 Legionnaire’s disease cases citywide each year.Legionnaires’ disease can not be spread from person to person. Those at highest risk are people age 50 or older who smoke cigarettes, lung disease, or weakened immune systems.Symptoms of the disease include fever, cough, muscle aches, chills, loss of appetite, fatigue, confusion and diarrhea.For more information about Legionnaires’ disease, please visit the Health Department website.