After a second reported case of Legionnaires’ disease at a Flushing apartment complex in Queens, NY, within a year period, the city is performing tests to the water distribution system, according to multiple news reports.
Two residents of Building 3 at Latimer Gardens – one of four buildings in the complex, located at 34-20 137th Street – were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease 10 months apart, according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The building does not have a cooling tower, which has been a common breeding ground for Legionella bacteria in many incidents throughout New York in recent years.
The health department confirmed that the latest incident occurred within the past two months. That individual remains hospitalized. The first patient also was hospitalized but recovered and was discharged from the hospital. Health officials are required to notify tenants when there are multiple cases reported at a single address within a one-year period.
The New York City Housing Authority said “out of an abundance of caution” it is installing a copper silver ionization system to disinfect the water.
A busy year for Legionnaires’ disease in NYC
In June, one person died and another six were hospitalized after contracting Legionnaires’ disease in the Lenox Hill neighborhood on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Cooling towers were believed to be the cause after 24 of the 116 towers in the area tested positive for traces of Legionella bacteria.
Also in June, two New York City police officers took ill with Legionnaires’ disease at the 23rd Precinct in Harlem. An infected water system is believed to be responsible for those illnesses.
New York City’s largest outbreak killed 12 in 2015
The largest outbreak in New York City history occurred just two years ago. Contaminated cooling towers were blamed for producing Legionnaires’ disease that killed 12 people and sickened more than 120 others in the South Bronx.