New York jail inmate diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease

AP News
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Posted: Aug 11, 2015 6:32 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City jail inmate has been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease. But a City Hall spokeswoman says health officials don't believe the Rikers Island inmate's case is connected to a larger outbreak in the Bronx.

The South Bronx cluster has killed 12 people and sickened more than 100 others.

The City Hall spokeswoman said Tuesday the Department of Correction's six cooling towers were disinfected last month and will be cleaned again though it's unclear how the inmate was sickened.

The disease is caused when water contaminated with a certain bacteria is inhaled into the lungs. It's easily diagnosed and treated with antibiotics. It poses the most risk to people who have underlying medical conditions.

Studies estimate between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized annually in the U.S. with the disease.