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Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak
In July 2015, a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York City caused 128 people to become seriously ill and 12 people to die from Legionnaires disease.
The investigation into the cause of the New York City Legionnaires' disease outbreak focused on water cooling towers which power air-conditioning systems in large buildings in the South Bronx. In an effort to control the Legionnaires' disease outbreak, on August 7 2015, New York City gave all business owners two weeks to test and disinfect cooling towers. New York, in a measure to limit future Legionnaires' disease outbreaks, passed a bill requiring building owners to register cooling towers and have them inspected on a quarterly basis in accordance with ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standards.
More than twelve buildings in New York City tested positive for the legionella bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease. The particular strain, however, that sickened so many in the New York City Legionnaires' disease outbreak, was determined to have been the strain of legionella bacteria found at the Opera House Hotel in New York City. (The Opera House Hotel's water cooling tower was disinfected on August 1, 2015.)
According to a 2011 infectious diseases study, more than 8000 people in the United States each year become ill from Legionnaires' disease, and that number is on the rise.
Legionnaires' disease is caused by the inhalation of aerosolized water droplets from water systems infected with the legionella bacterium. Most commonly, these infected water systems are found in the air conditioning systems, fountains, hot tubs, mist sprayers, showers, or swimming pools of hotels and conference rooms.
Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious and cannot be transferred person to person, and not all people exposed to the legionella bacterium will develop Legionnaires’ disease.
Once the legionella bacterium has been inhaled, if symptoms develop, they will usually do so within two to 14 days.
Initial symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include:
· High Fever
· Muscle Pain
Additional symptoms of Legionnaires' disease which develop as the disease progresses include:
· Chest Pain
· Confusion / Mental Changes
· Cough (Sometimes with Bloody Mucus)
Complications from Legionnaires disease can include:
· Acute Kidney Failure
· Respiratory Failure
· Septic Shock
Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with antibiotics, but can be fatal is left untreated. If you believe you may have been exposed to the legionella bacterium and/or have symptoms of Legionnaires disease, seek immediate medical attention. Be sure to tell medical providers regarding any recent travel before the onset of your symptoms or where you currently reside. (It may speed the diagnosis of your illness as the hospital or doctor’s office as they may already be aware of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.)
If you have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, there are legal remedies available to you. You can, for example, recover for:
· Lost Wages
· Medical Expenses
· Other Lawful Damages
The wrongful death attorneys and personal injury lawyers of Hoey & Farina are available to represent you in your Legionnaires’ disease case. Call us today at 1-888-425-1212, or complete this form, for your free consultation. Hoey & Farina represents clients throughout the United States.