HARLEM, Manhattan — Nine people were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease in Harlem in recent weeks, health officials said Wednesday.
Officials launched an investigation into what they described as a community cluster in central Harlem and nearby communities. The first case was reported on Aug. 9.
Adults who’ve been in the area since Aug. 1 and who have flu-like symptoms should seek medical attention right away, Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said.
“Most people exposed to Legionella don’t get sick but there are people at higher risk, such as those 50 and older, especially those who smoke and have chronic lung conditions,” he said.
Seven of the individuals with Legionnaires’ disease are 50 or older. No deaths have been reported.
Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious. It’s contracted by breathing in water vapor containing the bacteria.
Individuals at higher risk include:
- Those ages 50 and up
- People with chronic lung disease
- Those with compromised immune systems