State sends teams to NYC amid Legionnaires' outbreak
Efforts by the 150 state employees deployed to the Bronx on Saturday to help root out the Legionnaires' disease outbreak revealed five new contaminated sites.
The sites have all been disinfected, according to officials. One was at a high school, which has been shut down for the week out of an abundance of caution.
New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says he's not ready to announce victory, but other health experts say they're confident that officials have the outbreak under control.
"The beauty of having a very active and robust health department system such as what we have here is that they've been able to quickly isolate the cause and eradicate the cause," says Dr. Alan Katz of Stat Health Urgent Care.
As News 12 has reported, more than 100 people have been sickened by the pneumonia-like disease. Doctors say it's not spread person-to-person. It is spread by inhalation of a water source that's contaminated with legionella bacteria.
Doctors also say that people with health problems and the elderly are more at risk.
As state officials get involved in the effort, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has also announced stricter regulations for water cooling towers in the city.
Long Islanders who spoke with News 12 say that the outbreak is nerve-wracking because it's so close to home. But doctors say that there's no reason for people to change their normal way of life.
City health officials are urging anyone with symptoms of Legionnaires' to see a doctor. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches.