New York City officials are currently investigating 27 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Manhattan, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported.
Case numbers have risen in recent weeks in an area of lower Washington Heights, following the diagnosis of eight people in early July.
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria. These bacteria thrive in warm water and can grow and spread in water systems like showerheads, air-conditioning cooling towers and hot water tanks, according to the CDC.
People who breathe in water vapor containing Legionella can experience symptoms including fever, coughing and muscle aches. However, most people who come into contact with the bacteria don’t get sick.
Most people with Legionnaires’ need to be treated in a hospital. In rare cases, the disease can prove fatal, but the vast majority of people receiving proper treatment return to full health.
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