HIGHBRIDGE, the Bronx (PIX11) – Ten Legionnaires’ disease cases have now been identified in a neighborhood in the Bronx, city health officials said.

The Legionnaires’ cases are all in the Highbridge neighborhood, according to New York City’s health department. The first case was discovered on May 9. The health department is investigating the cause of the cases in ZIP codes 10452 and 10456.

Legionnaires' disease Highbridge, Bronx
New York City’s health department is investigating the cause of the cases in ZIP codes 10452 and 10456. (PIX11)

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caught by breathing in water vapor that contains Legionella bacteria. Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious and can be treated with antibiotics when caught early. However, the disease can be fatal for people who are considered high risk.

Those at high risk include people who are 50 years or older, smoke, have a chronic lung disease, have a weakened immune system, or take medicines that weaken their immune system.

Legionnaires’ disease causes flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea. People living or working in the Highbridge area who are experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention, health officials said.

Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth, such as cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems.

Health officials are testing water from all cooling tower systems in the area of the cluster in the Bronx.

On average, there are 200 to 500 Legionnaires’ disease cases reported in New York City each year.