Legionnaires’ disease sickens two at Westchester rehab center

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CROTON-ON-HUDSON, NY — Two people contracted Legionnaires’ disease at a Westchester County rehabilitation facility, officials said Monday.

The two confirmed cases are at at the Sky View Rehabilitation Center in Croton-on-Hudson.

Westchester County and the New York State Department of Health are working together to investigate the source of the disease. Legionnaires’ disease  is spread though water that passes through contaminated piping. The center does not have cooling towers.

Sky View Rehabilitation Center has hired a company to help prevent the spread of the disease. A water sample taken this summer tested positive for Legionella bacteria, though subsequent tests in August and September came back negative.

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

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fever, body aches, chills, cough and headaches.

Those 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.