Both Lincoln Medical Center and the Concourse Plaza shopping center in the Bronx have tested positive for Legionnaire's disease, meaning their cooling systems could be responsible for the deadly outbreak of the illness.
Health Commissioner Mary Bassett announced yesterday that two cooling towers at 21 South Bronx—the site of both the hospital and the shopping center— tested positive for Legionnaire's. It's unclear whether the strain found in the cooling systems is the same one that killed two people and sickened dozens of others in the past month.
Both the towers are being disinfected and flushed out, and the Health Department is still in the process of testing 10 other sites in the area, the Daily News reports.
The two people who died—a man and a woman—were both in their 50s. Each suffered from lung and heart disease prior to catching Legionnaire's, Bassett said.
Legionnaire's is an airborne bacterial infection that's similar to pneumonia. It's not contagious—rather, it's often traced to water systems like hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and large air-conditioning systems.
The outbreak started on July 10, and has affected people in Highbridge, Morrisania, Hunts Point and Mott Haven.