Mineola, NY – Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) is currently investigating 10 cases of Legionellosis in a one-mile radius of Wantagh Avenue and Old Jerusalem Road on the Levittown/Wantagh border. The cluster was identified for the time period of October.
Legionellosis is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. The Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment and are transmitted by aerosolized water. People can get Legionnaires’ disease when breathing in a mist or vapor containing the bacteria, most commonly from cooling towers, fountains, spray parks, hot tubs, whirlpool spas, showers, and faucets. The bacteria are not spread from person to person. Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia; therefore, it can be difficult to distinguish from the more commonly acquired pneumonias. Signs of Legionnaires’ disease may include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches, and headaches. These symptoms usually begin 2 to 10 days after being exposed to the bacteria. The disease requires treatment with antibiotics and most cases are treated successfully.
People at higher risk of becoming ill with Legionnaires’ disease are those 50 years of age or older, current of former smokers, those with chronic lung disease, those with a weakened immune system, and people who take immunosuppressant medications.
New York State is experiencing a state-wide increase in legionellosis cases. NCDOH encourages residents who have symptoms consistent with Legionnaires’ disease to contact their health care provider. Additional information regarding Legionnaires’ disease can be found on the New York State Department of Health website at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/legionellosis/