2015 Bronx Legionnaires' disease outbreaks

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2015 Bronx Legionnaires' disease outbreaks were a series of Legionnaires' disease outbreaks that occurred in the South Bronx, New York City, during the summer of 2015. The outbreaks were among the largest in New York City's history, resulting in 12 deaths and over 120 cases of infection. Legionnaires' disease is a form of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria, which thrives in warm water and can spread through inhaling aerosolized water droplets contaminated with the bacteria.

Background[edit | edit source]

Legionnaires' disease is named after its first identified outbreak in 1976, at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. The disease is typically spread through inhalation of water droplets containing the Legionella bacteria, which can proliferate in water systems such as cooling towers, hot water tanks, showers, and fountains if they are not properly maintained.

Outbreak Details[edit | edit source]

The 2015 Bronx outbreaks were traced back to cooling towers in the South Bronx area. Health officials identified that the cooling towers at several locations, including a hotel, a hospital, and an educational campus, were contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. The city's response included inspecting and disinfecting the identified cooling towers and implementing new regulations for the maintenance and inspection of cooling towers across New York City to prevent future outbreaks.

Response and Regulation[edit | edit source]

In response to the outbreaks, New York City officials enacted legislation to regulate the maintenance of cooling towers to prevent the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria. The new regulations required building owners to register their cooling towers with the city, conduct regular inspections, and perform necessary maintenance to control the risk of Legionella growth. These measures marked the first set of regulations in New York City specifically targeting the prevention of Legionnaires' disease through cooling tower management.

Impact[edit | edit source]

The 2015 Bronx Legionnaires' disease outbreaks highlighted the importance of proper maintenance and regulation of water systems to prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria. The outbreaks led to increased awareness and improved public health policies regarding the management of cooling towers and other potential sources of Legionella exposure. The city's swift response and subsequent regulation changes aimed to prevent future outbreaks and protect public health.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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