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8 Dead in New York City Legionnaires' Outbreak

Richard Green, VOA News

The death toll from the largest outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in New York City now stands at eight.

New York City health officials say 97 people have been diagnosed with the bacterial disease since the outbreak was first detected last month. Ninety two people were hospitalized, and 48 have been treated and released. Authorities say the eight people who died were older adults who had previous medical problems.

The current outbreak has been traced to five cooling towers in the Bronx, which have since been decontaminated. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier this week that new legislation requiring inspections, sanctions and other regulations for property owners whose buildings test positive for the disease will be presented this week to prevent future outbreaks.

Legionnaires' disease is caused when water contaminated with the bacteria is inhaled into the lungs. There have been 2,400 cases nationwide this year.

The disease takes its name from its first outbreak, in 1976, at a Philadelphia hotel where a meeting of the American Legion society was taking place.

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