The city Department of Health is currently investigating how two tenants living in Bedford Park’s Tracey Towers contracted Legionnaires’ Disease. According to both the Norwood News and NY1, Department of Health employees slipped notices under residents’ doors at 20 West Mosholu Parkway South to alert them of the situation.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Legionnaires’ Disease is a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella bacteria, which can be found naturally in freshwater environments such as lakes or streams. It can become a health concern if Legionella bacterium grows in human-made building water systems. Untreated Legionnaires’ Disease can be fatal. Antibiotics are typically prescribed to ill individuals. Symptoms are similar to the flu and include fever, cough and chills.
Legionnaires’ Disease is known to spread in cooling towers. However, Tracey Towers has no cooling towers so residents are unsure how two of their own contracted the disease. A building meeting was held on September 10th to discuss the investigation.
High risk individuals include those who are 50 years of age or older, smokers, diabetes patients, people who already have chronic lung disease, and those with compromised immune systems. The Department of Health emphasizes that the water at Tracey Towers is still drinkable, although they encourage those at high risk to take extra precaution. Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious between people and is not transmitted from one person to another.