Jun 13, 2017 06:34 AM EDT
A trace of Legionella bacteria behind Legionnaires' disease is found in the water at a police station in East Harlem, Manhattan. Prior to this incident, one NYPD officer fell ill at work with symptoms of Legionnaires' disease.
According to the New York Times, the police officer was recovering from Legionnaires' disease at a hospital outside the city. Following a preliminary investigation, the New York City Health Department found the source of the bacteria contamination in the water supply at the precinct station.
The police station infected with Legionnaires' disease is the 23rd Precinct station house on East 102nd Street in East Harlem. Police officers are still able to work in the building, but the Health Department suggested them to avoid to use the water in the station, either to take showers, drink or to prepare hot beverages and food. The city's Health Department also stated the contamination has been contained in the building, and no risk of health to the surrounding area, as reported by Washington Post.
"Legionnaires' disease is not contagious, officers can still work in the building but should avoid taking showers at the site until the investigation is complete," Health Department said in a statement on Sunday, June, 11. "There is no public health risk to the larger community."
As a precaution, the hot water system in the building has been shut down temporarily. Two years ago, two cases of Legionnaires' disease outbreak hit New York City in 2015, infecting 130 people and causing 12 people died.
Following the outbreak in 2015, the city officials issued a legislation that required building owners to perform a regular inspection quarterly to verify the building's cooling towers are free of the Legionnaires' disease. The cooling tower has been suspected to become the source of Legionella, In this new case, the 23rd Precinct station house has just installed its new cooling towers last month, therefore the Health Department will conduct further investigation.
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