SOUTH BRONX — Two more people are dead as the total number of Legionnaires’ disease cases rises to 113 in the South Bronx. But the Mayor and City officials remain confident that the diseases is under control.
Now parents at one South Bronx school want to know why their kids building wasn’t tested after a teacher died from the disease back in April.
“I’m afraid,” said one parent who asked that we not use her name.
“We have three camps that are involved in the school right now. We have an orientation coming up. My kid is coming here every day. No one has put any kind of notice. No one has mentioned anything. I’ve been coming to school every day. I don’t understand why we weren’t made aware of it.”
James Rouse, 52, reportedly died from Legionella’s disease back in April.
Family and friends say the Department of Health asked them plenty of questions, but never tested Rouse’s school, M.S. 325 in the South Bronx for traces of the disease.
We reached out to the Department of Health for comment, but they did not respond to our request.
In a statement a spokesperson for the United Federation of Teachers told PIX 11:
“Teachers and parents would have felt more secure if the DOE had checked the building’s water and ventilation system’s after the disease was reported. We’ll be meeting next week with the DOE to inspect the building and make sure it’s safe for occupancy at school opening.”
But Monday, PIX11 spotted dozens of campers and staff still using the building on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that officials found traces of the bacteria in two more area buildings, bringing the total number of infected sites to 12. One of them Samuel Gompers High School a few blocks away.
“We’ve all had to work together, to find each and every location that might be suspect and to act accordingly,” said the Mayor.
Even though the number of total and fatal cases of the disease continue to rise, the Mayor says there have been no new cases of the disease in more than a week.
Officials also announced new legislation that would require all buildings with cooling towers, across the city, to have those towers disinfected or face fines.
“And it is very likely in different parts of the city that we will find buildings that have presence of the bacteria, but that doesn’t mean that it’s infected anyone and that’s very very important for people to understand,” said the Mayor.
But even if M.S. 325 and the other schools in the Teller Avenue Building don’t have a cooling tower, parents say they want the building tested to make sure their kids are safe.
“We cannot have this kind of thing going on. We have our children. They’re not toys.”
The Mayor says the City is still waiting on test results for 5 more buildings. But there is no word on exactly when these schools here in the South Bronx will be tested.