Two individuals at the Rangel Houses in Harlem have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. Regarding these two cases, the NYC Department of Health released a statement indicating that they are working with the New York City Housing Authority (“NYCHA”) to launch an investigation and test the water supply in one of the buildings within the public housing complex.
The results of these tests will not be determined for a few weeks, and until then it is unclear whether or not the suspected building is the source of the Legionella bacteria that is responsible for these two cases. In an effort to combat any possible bacteria within the building’s plumbing system, the NYCHA is installing a copper-silver ionization system. Older residents within the complex who may be more susceptible to contracting the disease if exposed to Legionella bacteria are advised to minimize exposure to water vapor. Methods of doing so include taking a bath instead of a shower, slowly filling a sink to wash dishes, and starting with cold water when cooking.
The Department of Health’s public notification protocol for Legionnaires’ disease requires that tenants be notified when there are two or more cases reported at a single address within a 12-month period. Health officials were present at the public housing complex to answer to any of the residents’ questions or concerns.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com for updates to this post or for more information on Legionnaires’ disease.