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What to Know

  • A type of bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease was detected at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, officials say[hhmc]

  • The low levels of the Legionella bacteria found at the Bronx hospital, also known as Jacobi Medical Center, prompted water restrictions[hhmc]

  • It is unclear if any staff members or patients have tested positive for Legionnaires disease — a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella[hhmc]

A type of bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease was detected at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi – resulting in extreme water restrictions at the Bronx hospital, according to officials.

NYC Health + Hospitals, which operates the hospital also known as Jacobi Medical Center, says that a required routine of testing potable water supply “found low levels of Legionella bacteria.”

“Per guidance from the New York State Department of Health, which regulates hospitals, we have taken steps to prevent any impact on our patients, staff, or visitors. Safety is always our highest priority,” NYC Health + Hospitals said in a statement Saturday.

In coordination with the New York State Department of Health, water treatment and ongoing monitoring are underway at the hospital, according to NYC Health + Hospitals, which also added that since the detection, the hospital has implemented water restrictions, including using only bottled water, making available packaged bath wipes for daily hygiene and installing new water filters on showers.

James D. Morgan/Getty Images

The risk to patients, staff, and visitors is very low and there is no risk to the surrounding community, but tha hospital has notified its patients and staff, according to NYC Health + Hospitals.

The hospital emphasizes that as of now no one has tested positive for Legionnaires disease — a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella, which tends to grow in warm water.

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The disease is contracted by breathing in water droplets contaminated with the bacterium. In most cases, the bacterium can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth.

The disease is not passed from person to person.

The city sees an average of 200 to 500 Legionnaires' cases each year.

An outbreak in Washington Heights has seen 27 cases – with one person dying last month. Three individuals remain hospitalized in connection to this outbreak, which the NYC Health Department says is seperate and not related to the Legionella bacteria discovered at Jacobi.

Kennith Thomas

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NBC

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