NEW YORK — An inmate at Rikers Island has tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease amid the city’s worst outbreak in history.
“We are calling on the Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett to step up and immediately test every facility under the control of the Department of Correction and to better share information with the DOC. The health and well-being of thousands of correction officers and inmates is at risk,” said Norman Seabrook,
President of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association. The Correction Department operates 15 inmate facilities including the Vernon C. Bain Center in Hunts Point.
An official from City Hall says the case is not believed to be associated with the outbreak in the South Bronx.
The patient, a 63-year-old man, had underlying medical conditions.
He was admitted to the Department of Corrections Bellevue Hospital Ward and treated with antibiotics.
The inmate entered custody in December, 2014 and has been to court twice in Brooklyn.
A spokesperson from City Hall says neither of those trips were recent enough to be within the incubation period of this outbreak. The incubation period of Legionnaires’ is two to 10 days.
“DOC has consulted with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and taken precautions to minimize the risks associated with this form of bacteria,” a spokesperson for City Hall said.
Precautions taken include cleaning and disinfecting all six operating DOC cooling towers and cleaning all shower heads.
The Legionnaires’ outbreak in the South Bronx has claimed 12 lives and sickened 115 people.
On Monday a second case of the disease was confirmed in Rockland County.
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