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Lawmakers call for transparency in wake of fatal Legionnaires’ outbreak

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HAMILTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — Several of the 18 people sickened during this most recent legionnaires outbreak in northern Manhattan are still in the hospital— and two lawmakers said they would like the city to be more transparent when these things happen.

New York State Senator Marisol Alcantara joined Council Member Ydanis Rodríguez on the steps of city hall Wednesday, one day after health officials announced the most recent Legionnaires outbreak had killed one person in an area where they both serve.

Together, they are calling for more to be done.

The bacteria has been traced back to cooling towers. Both lawmakers want more of the collected information about tower inspections to made public and higher fines for inspection failures.

They also said there is a great need to more closely communicate with immigrant and non-English speaking communities during outbreaks like this.

Currently, the fine for repeatedly failing a cooling tower inspection is capped at $5,000, and no more than $10,000 even if someone dies as a direct result.

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