NEW YORK – Barbara Lauray is the president of the Fort Independence Houses in the Bronx and she says she’s afraid to use the water in her bathroom after two cases of Legionnaires’ disease were confirmed in her building.
“I don’t know what to tell my families,”Lauray said. “Don’t bathe. Don’t shower. Animals live better than this.”
Legionnaires can be contracted by breathing in contaminated water droplets and can’t be spread from person to person, health officials said. Legionnaires can have pneumonia-like symptoms, especially for seniors.
The city’s health department said both Legionnaires’ patients have been released from the hospital and the agency will look into the building’s plumbing to find the source of the bacteria.
A spokesperson for NYCHA said there are three confirmed cases of Legionnaires’s diseaes at the St. Nicholas Houses in Harlem. The official said NYCHA is cleaning and jetting the lines of all 13 hot water tanks, prioritizing the buildings that had confirmed Legionnaires’.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY 13th District) said he will be calling for an immediate and comprehensive testing protocol in all NYCHA buildings in all housing complexes within New York’s 13th congressional district.
Regional HUD Director NY and NJ tweeted: “I commend @RepEspaillat for working with TA Ball to ensure @NYCHA eradicates the confirmed Legionella at Saint Nicholas Houses. These 3 cases only further compound the urgency for a Federal Monitor, so that he/she can implement proactive measures to prevent future contamination.”