NEW YORK – New York state health officials said four deaths at a Manhattan nursing home were confirmed to be linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe type of pneumonia caused by a bacterium that grows in hot water. .
Officials from the New York State Department of Health said Thursday that a total of eight cases of Legionnaires’ disease were found at the Amsterdam Nursing Home in Amsterdam boulevard en Washington Heights.
Of the eight people confirmed to have the disease, five have died since then, four of them from legionnaires. The cause of the other death remains under investigation, health officials said.
An investigation into the deaths in the nursing home was launched on September 16, after the Mount Sinai hospital first notified the state on August 30 that two patients diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease had been referred. there after the structure. A week later, the hospital reported two more cases of legionnaires among the hospitalized residents of the nursing home. And the nursing home reported three more.
Then another came, bringing the total to eight.
“The department has also conducted an on-site review and is providing support and guidance, including a recommendation to implement water restrictions for all units in the west wing of the facility, where the suspected cases resided,” state health officials said. a note. Friday statement. “The water restrictions will remain in place until further water culture tests for Legionella are completed and no additional cases are identified.”
The nursing home was also advised to conduct prospective clinical surveillance through November 2022 to prevent potential new cases. Depending on the state, Amsterdam nursing home they cultivated their water systems in January and June and did not detect the Legionella bacteria. More samples were collected on August 31, and state officials collected water samples last week. The results of the analysis of both samples are pending, the state says.
Earlier this summer, a separate outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease killed two people in the Bronx and hospitalized more than two dozen. City health officials said the outbreak was over in mid-June after four weeks had passed since a new case. In all, 30 cases were linked to that outbreak and all but two of those patients required hospitalization.
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia. It is not contagious and can be treated with antibiotics if caught early. Infections occur due to breathing in the water vapor that contains these bacteria.
Symptoms are described as flu-like and include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Some may not have any at all.
In New York, an average of 200 to 800 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported each year. In 2015, the state adopted the first national regulations requiring registration, routine inspection and control of cooling towers for Legionella in order to reduce potential exposures, prevent disease and protect the public. The legislation requires all general hospitals and residential structures to carry out the sampling of the Legionella culture and the analysis of drinking water systems. Find out more here.
Nationwide, according to the New York Department of Health, approximately 25,000 people develop Legionnaires’ disease each year. An additional unknown number are infected and have mild symptoms or no disease. Cases occur sporadically and in outbreaks. Outbreaks occur most often in the summer, but cases occur throughout the year.