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13 hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in Flushing

FLUSHING, Queens — A 13th case of Legionnaires’ disease was confirmed in Flushing Wednesday evening.

A total of 12 patients, ages early 30s-late 80s, were hospitalized Legionnaires’ disease in the area in the past two weeks. The Health Department said a 13th patient is still in the hospital.

No patients have died, Health Department officials said. Most of the patients had serious underlying health conditions.

Legionnaires’ disease  is spread though water that passes through contaminated piping.  The Health Department has inspected and sampled all active cooling towers in the area of concern.

The disease is treatable with antibiotics. Groups at highest risk include those who are middle-aged and older, smokers and those with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms resemble the flu and include fever, body aches, chills, cough and headaches.

New Yorkers worried about contracting Legionnaires’ disease can take the following precautions:

  • Don’t take a shower, even a cool shower—since it could create water vapor (mist). Instead, take a bath, but fill the tub slowly. Try to minimize your time in the bathroom while the tub is filling.
  • It’s fine to wash dishes, but fill the sink slowly to avoid creating mist.
  • It’s fine to drink cold water from the tap, but start with cold water when heating water for tea, coffee or cooking.
  • You do not need to wear a mask.
  • It is important to continue to wash your hands.