The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced in a press release yesterday that the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the South Bronx that caused 12 deaths and over 100 illnesses was over and that the source of the outbreak had been determined.
The NYC Health Department’s Public Health Laboratory worked closely with the State’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory and the CDC to determine that the source of the outbreak was the Opera House Hotel located at 436 E. 149th St., Bronx, NY 10455. The Health Department is continuing its investigation to determine the circumstances at the hotel that led to the cooling tower being the source of the deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.
“After extensive review and coordination of laboratory data at the city, state, and federal levels, we have identified the source of the outbreak in the South Bronx – the Opera House Hotel’s cooling tower,” said city Health Commissioner Bassett. “We eliminated the danger posed by the Opera House Hotel’s cooling tower as soon as it tested positive for disease-causing Legionella . Today, all cooling towers in the affected area have been disinfected, and all cooling towers across the City are being evaluated and disinfected if necessary. Historic legislation passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor de Blasio should help prevent tragic outbreaks like this from occurring again.”
“Control of Legionella is complex, and disease detection, environmental science, and laboratory advance work helped bring this unfortunate outbreak to an end. We hope to advance the science about how to improve control from New York’s experience,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “The quick and thorough reaction from local and state authorities likely prevented many others from developing Legionnaires’ disease. CDC is appreciative of our collaborative work with New York’s public health experts.”
To read the full press release, please visit the NYC Department of Health website.