A second police officer at the 23rd Precinct in East Harlem has contracted Legionnaires’ disease, NYPD officials have confirmed. “The officer did not require any hospitalization and is being treated with medication,” the department said in a statement.
Earlier in June, an officer at the precinct was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ and hospitalized outside of Manhattan. He has since recovered.
Preliminary test results after the first illness found traces of the Legionella bacteria in 19 of 20 samples, according to sources. However, additional testing of the facility’s systems and water supply by investigators for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) came back negative. Further testing will be conducted in the coming weeks.
Because the disease is contracted by breathing in water vapor or mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria, health officials are recommending that precinct officers not take showers until the investigation is complete. In addition, prisoners have been transferred to other precincts, and no new prisoners will be held until the all-clear has been given to the building.
The NYPD incidents are unrelated to the Legionnaires’ outbreak being experienced in the Lenox Hill neighborhood on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In that outbreak, one person has died and six others have been hospitalized, and the investigation is ongoing.