Legionaire's Disease present in WNY

Aug 8, 2015

As portions of New York City contend with the growing problem of Legionaire's Disease, Western New York officials are urging precautions as well.

The outbreak of Legionella bacteria, primarily in the Bronx, has led to 100 confirmed cases and at least 10 deaths to this point. Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein states that though cases are being identified in Western New York, the numbers do not reach the level of those down state.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein
Credit WBFO News file photo / WBFO News

"We're not really considering this an outbreak. It's an infection. Many infections that we see are seasonal, and so, Legionella is seasonal. WE see it more in Erie County in the summer, but we are not seeing it in the great numbers than they are in New York City, and we haven't really linked the cases that we've identified to any specific source."

Legionella is common in water cooling towers, and evaporative condensers. A number of cases happen annually in our area, but they are not commonly dangerous. The symptoms are similar to pneumonia.

Anyone experiencing those symptoms is advised to seek attention.