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Legionnaire’s Disease in New York – Flushing and Westchester County

New York State is currently dealing with two separate clusters of Legionnaire’s disease.

As of October 24, 2017, there have been 12 confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s disease reported in downtown Flushing, Queens, over the past two weeks. Most patients, with ages ranging from early 30s to late 80s, had serious underlying health conditions. No deaths have been reported, but five persons are hospitalized and recovering, and seven have been discharged from the hospital. Two more cases are currently being investigated to determine whether they are part of this cluster. The New York State Department of Health is currently conducting an environmental investigation to determine the source of the outbreak.

On October 30, 2017, two confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s disease were reported at a nursing home in Croton-on-Hudson in Westchester County. The Health Department is also leading this investigation.

Legionnaire’s disease and its less-severe variation, Pontiac fever, are transmitted via inhalation of aerosolized water contaminated with the bacteria Legionella. Legionnaire’s disease first came to light in 1976 when a previously unknown illness killed 34 people and sickened another 200 following an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. The bacteria can be found in both natural and man-made environments. Unlike many illnesses, Legionnaire’s disease and Pontiac fever are not transmitted from person to person, but are only contracted through direct contact with contaminated water.

For more information on Legionella infections and resources for preventing, identifying, or treating Legionella contamination in your building’s water supply, contact us at


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