5 more Bronx cooling towers test positive for legionella

Five more cooling towers in the Bronx have tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease amid an outbreak that has killed 10 people

Five more cooling towers in the Bronx have tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease amid an outbreak that has killed 10 people and sickened more than 100.

Five more cooling towers in the Bronx have tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease amid an outbreak that has killed 10 people and sickened more than 100. (8/9/15)

THE BRONX - Five more cooling towers in the Bronx have tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease amid an outbreak that has killed 10 people and sickened more than 100.

One of the cooling towers that tested positive for legionella is at the Bronx Hall of Justice. It's directly across the street from Concourse Plaza, where one of the first towers tested positive after the outbreak erupted.

News 12 is told that the tower at the Hall of Justice has already been cleaned and disinfected.

The other four towers are located at the New York City Housing Court on the Grand Concourse; the Verizon building at 1106 Hoe Ave.; 554 Grand Concourse, where there used to be a post office; and Samuel Gompers High School on Southern Boulevard.

Although disinfection was already performed Saturday, the high school will remain closed for the week out of an abundance of caution, officials say.

Health officials say none of the new locations are connected to the outbreak. They say the illnesses were all linked to the previous five cooling tower locations that have already been identified and cleaned.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday that health officials believe the outbreaking is "tapering off." There have been no additional deaths reported in the past two days. A total of 108 cases have been reported.

Over the next several days, teams will continue testing hundreds of cooling towers across the city. As News 12 has reported, the state sent 150 employees to the Bronx this weekend to help collect samples.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a mobile command center has been set up at Hostos Community College to allow for quicker testing of samples.

For building owners and landlords, the state is offering free testing. Call 888-769-7243 to set up a test.

New legislation is also expected to better regulate city cooling towers.

Legionnaires' disease is a pneumonia-like illness that spreads through inhalation of contaminated water sources. It is not spread person-to-person.

Anyone who experiences symptoms of Legionnaires' should immediately see a doctor. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches.

For building owners and landlords, the state is offering free testing. Call 888-769-7243 to set up a test.

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