Legionnaires’ disease has hit Washington Heights. Eight people – ranging in ages from under 40 to over 80 – have been diagnosed with the disease in the past seven days, the city Health Department said Wednesday.
All but one person was hospitalized, and one was discharged. No deaths were reported.
Health Commissioner Mary Bassett warned New Yorkers about the dangers of the disease.
“While most people exposed to Legionella don’t get sick, individuals ages 50 and above, especially those who smoke and have chronic lung conditions, are at a higher risk,” she said in a press release.
“This disease is very treatable with antibiotics. I encourage anyone with symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease to seek care early.”
Officials are checking the water in all cooling towers in the area, according to the Health Department.
Legionnaires is a form of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria that grows in warm water.
People usually contract the disease by breathing mist containing the bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches and coughing.