Cluster of Legionnaires diseased detected in Niagara County

Posted at 11:24 AM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 14:11:03-04

The Niagara County Department of Health and the New York State DOH  have received notification from Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport that a cooling tower tested positive for levels of Legionella.

At this point, officials says they are investigating a cluster of 8 cases of Legionellosis in the community. 

The investigation is in its preliminary stages.

Several other cooling towers and other potential sources in the area besides Eastern Niagara Hospital are being tested. 

The hospital immediately took steps to disinfect the cooling tower.  As required by the new state regulations the hospital will conduct additional testing to confirm the remediation was successful.  Niagara County and NYSDOH continue to work closely with the leadership of Eastern Niagara Hospital to monitor the situation.

Legionella is typically transmitted by breathing in aerosolized water contaminated with the bacteria, not by drinking the water.  Public water systems are not commonly found to be sources of Legionella outbreaks.