Legionnaires’ bacteria found at New York police precinct

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NEW YORK — Officials say traces of Legionnaires’ disease have been found in a New York City police precinct where an officer was hospitalized with symptoms of the disease.

    
The health department says they were informed that preliminary results of some tests conducted by an independent contractor at the precinct in Harlem showed traces of the bacteria.
    
The New York Times reports health officials began investigating the water at the precinct Friday night after they were notified that an officer had been diagnosed with the disease.

The officer is recovering at a hospital outside of the city.

The hot water supply at the precinct has been temporarily shut down.

One police officer told CBS New York that he and his colleagues are on edge, wondering how long the bacteria has possibly been in their workplace.

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia that’s spread by inhaling mist from water tanks, cooling towers, hot tubs and whirlpool spas contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. It can be especially dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. It’s not spread by person-to-person contact.

Police said the precinct’s cooling tower is new and has not yet been turned on, CBS New York reports.

Last week, the Southern Nevada Health District announced it is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ in guests who stayed separately at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The guests were at the hotel in March and in April and the hotel is assisting in the investigation and taking steps to provide information of the past and current guests saying on the property, CBS affiliate KLAS reports.

Two years ago, Legionella was discovered at various cooling towers across the Bronx, where more than a dozen people died from the outbreak and more than 100 got sick.

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