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10 dead in New York City Legionnaires' disease outbreak

Published 06/08/2015

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio holds up a chart documenting the cases of Legionnaires' disease (AP)
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio holds up a chart documenting the cases of Legionnaires' disease (AP)

Ten people have died in an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease centred in the South Bronx, New York City officials said.

A total of 100 cases have been diagnosed in the outbreak, which officials said has been traced to cooling towers.

Five towers in the South Bronx tested positive for Legionella bacteria and have since been decontaminated.

The city's health department ordered that within the next 14 days, all buildings with cooling towers be tested and any found to be contaminated be disinfected. Failure to comply would be a misdemeanour.

The disease is caused by breathing in mist contaminated by a certain bacteria.

Health officials say Legionnaires' disease is easily diagnosed and treated with antibiotics but can pose a serious risk to anyone with an underlying medical condition.

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