Sick with Legionnaires?
Call (612) 337-6126
Elliot Olsen has regained millions of dollars for people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires at The Brielle at Seaview, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a non-profit, assisted-living facility for seniors in New York City is under investigation after a resident was confirmed with the serious form of pneumonia this month, the second such diagnosis since November.

(Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a Legionnaires “outbreak” as two or more cases associated with the same possible source during a 12-month period.)

The latest illness comes nearly two months after the city lifted a five-month-old water restriction at The Brielle at Seaview, located at 140 Friendship Lane on Staten Island. The restriction prevented many of the residents from showering after the first case was diagnosed last year. Those restrictions have been reinstated by the NYC Department of Health (DOH) until the facility has been cleared again.

Tests show Legionella

The DOH said recent testing of the facility’s water supply indicated the presence of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. Additional testing will be performed after remediation and hyper-chlorination efforts are completed.

After the November diagnosis, officials at The Brielle at Seaview installed a $50,000 supplemental disinfectant system that cost $15,000 to install. The electronic system was designed for 24/7 monitoring of bacteria and chlorine levels in the facility’s water system and alert management of abnormalities.

No information was released on whether the system performed effectively.

Third time in four years

“The Health Department and building management are promptly alerting guests of the situation,” read a statement from the DOH, “and providing guidance on how to prevent exposure, especially for those at higher risk for the disease.”

Officials for The Brielle at Seaview issued the following statement: “The health and safety of its residents is the Brielle’s foremost priority, which is why it spared no expense investing in state-of-the-art technology to ensure the facility’s water is of the highest possible quality and took immediate steps to remediate the water supply as soon as it was notified that one of its residents had fallen ill.”

This marks the third time a resident at The Brielle at Seaview has been diagnosed with the respiratory illness since the facility opened on Nov. 3, 2015. In November 2016, a resident was confirmed with the disease, and low levels of Legionella were found in subsequent testing.

Steps to limit exposure

Residents, employees, and visitors to The Brielle at Seaview should exercise these precautions until the water restriction has been lifted:

  • Do NOT take a shower, even a cool shower, since a shower could create a water mist (or vapor). Use the shower facilities in the commons building or take a sponge bath.
  • It is OK to brush teeth, wash hands, or wash dishes, but fill the sink slowly to avoid creating a mist.
  • It is OK to drink cold water from the tap, but start with cold water when heating water for tea, coffee, or cooking. You cannot get Legionnaires’ disease by drinking water.
  • You are NOT required to wear a mask.
  • It is IMPORTANT to wash hands.

High-risk demographics

A 2015 study by the CDC stated that “75 percent of (Legionnaires’ disease) acquired in health-care settings could be prevented with better water management.”

Although most people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, people 50 years old and older – especially those who smoke or have chronic lung conditions – are at a higher risk.

Other people more susceptible to infection include:

  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one)
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages.

This list also includes anyone with an immune system weakened by:

  • frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis or skin infections
  • organ inflammation and infection
  • blood disorders, such as low platelet counts or anemia
  • digestive problems, such as cramping, appetite loss, diarrhea, and nausea
  • delayed growth and development.

After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, hospitalization is almost always necessary. In the most severe cases, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, or even death.

Symptoms are vague

If you are a resident, visitor or employee of The Brielle at Seaview and are feeling pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms, you should seek care from your health-care provider. Those symptoms include: