New York Legionnaires' deaths rise to eight, nearly 100 sickened
The number of deaths from an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in New York has risen to eight and 97 people were reported sick with it, according to statistics released by Mayor Bill de Blasio's office.
More than half of the 92 people hospitalized were treated and released, the mayor's office said on Wednesday.
De Blasio said earlier this week the outbreak triggered an effort to mandate city-wide inspections and cleanings of air conditioning cooling towers.
Since July 10, the outbreak has been concentrated in the South Bronx neighborhood, which is one of the poorest in the United States. All the people who died of the disease were all older adults with underlying medical problems.
The disease, a severe kind of pneumonia, is contracted by breathing in mist from cooling towers infected with the bacteria Legionella. The incubation period for Legionnaires' disease is 10 days.
Of the 17 cooling towers that city health officials have inspected for Legionella, five tested positive. Remediation was completed at each of the locations, all in the South Bronx.
The city's last Legionnaires' outbreak was also in the Bronx, where 12 people fell ill in December 2014.
Officials said previously that the outbreak had peaked and they had seen a reduction in the rate of its growth.
See the history of Legionnaires disease in photos: