A bug that is connected to the onset of Legionnaires Disease was located in a cooling tower at Community General Hospital, located in Syracuse, New York. Legionnaires Disease affects the respiratory system.

There have been 10 reported cases of Legionnaires Disease in the area surrounding the hospital since the end of June, according to Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow.

Health inspectors “cannot say conclusively” that the cooling tower was the source of the outbreak, but further testing will determine whether or not the sample from the tower matches the bacteria present in the infected Onondaga Hill-area residents.

Health officials told the public that the cooling tower was disinfected on last Friday in an effort to decrease the risk of possible infection in nearby residents.

The Health Department held a press conference today.

Legionnaires Disease is fatal in between 5 and 30% of cases. The infection-causing bug is found in warm water sources. Symptoms associated with the disease include high fever, chills, and cough and generally manifest between 2 days of exposure, but an infected individual may not experience symptoms for up to two weeks.

Between 8,000 and 18,000 U.S. residents are hospitalized and treated for Legionnaires Disease each year.

Related article courtesy of Syracuse.com. Additional information related to Legionnaires Disease can be found on the CDC website.

Nicolette Kuff is a freelance writer from Upstate NY. She has not contracted Legionnaires Disease.

Be Sociable, Share!