Legionella bacteria confirmed in water supply at N.J. senior building, officials say

Posted May 31, 2019

Newark city officials confirmed Friday the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease was found inside the senior citizen building at 2 Nevada Street, after four people who lived or visited there were infected.

Dr. Mark Wade, director of the Department of Health and Community Wellness, said in an email that initial sampling in May found legionella bacteria, which causes the disease, in the building’s water system.

Though the city previously reported three sick residents (all of whom have been treated and released from the hospital), Dr. Wade said a fourth person who was staying as a guest in the building and lived out of state also developed Legionnaires’ disease.

The first patient fell ill in December and two others in April.

Newark has begun remediating the site and test results in the next two to three weeks will show whether the treatment worked, Dr. Wade said. The state Department of Health will monitor the 306-unit building for 18 months.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia and caused by the Legionella bacteria that can be found in soil or water. When water is reheated and goes into the plumbing system, the bacteria multiplies. People are infected when they inhale water droplets, not from touching other people or being in the area.

State health officials recently announced another Legionnaires’ outbreak in Union County where five people died and 22 others were infectedbetween March 8 and May 13. At least three of the cases were in Clark.

It’s still unclear what caused the Union County outbreak but Donna Leusner, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health, previously said the outbreak “does not appear to be associated with a single location exposure” and seems “spread throughout the county and is affecting a larger number of people.”

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment