Bronx, NY (August 6, 2015) – As a healthcare provider deeply rooted in the Bronx, EssenMed House Calls is concerned, not only by the outbreak of the Legionnaires’ disease, but also the extent of the outbreak in the South Bronx. On high alert, EssenMed House Calls has been closely following reports of the largest outbreak of Legionnaires’ in New York City in at least three years. To date, seven people have fallen victim to this deadly disease while 86 more have contracted it. All of us at EssenMed House Calls and our affiliated companies Essen Medical Associates and MetroUrgiCare send out our deepest condolences to the families involved and grieve the loss of the seven individuals who passed away.
Legionnaires’ disease, named after a 1976 outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, is a respiratory bacterial infection contracted by inhaling mist from water systems where “legionella” bacteria thrive. Legionnaires’ disease is an airborne illness, meaning it cannot be passed from person to person. Since the first reported case of Legionnaires’ disease this summer, officials have been attempting to locate the source of the outbreak. A wide-spread official investigation has found Legionnaires’ bacteria in five out of the 17 cooling towers in buildings across the South Bronx, including towers at the Opera House Hotel and the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center. The other towers that tested positive are in the Verizon office building, Streamline Plastics Company and the Concourse Plaza, a mall near Yankee Stadium.
City officials are, however, still unable to confirm which cooling tower is responsible for the outbreak but have confirmed that all five of the affected buildings had been decontaminated. Re-assuring the public, Dr. Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, stated, “we are confident the investigation we’ve done has identified all the potential sources of the infection.”
You may have contracted Legionnaire’s if you suffer from flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, chills, and muscle ache, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion, and diarrhea. Seniors and those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, cancer, HIV are warned to be on high alert. These underlying medical conditions weaken the body’s immune system and place them at greater risk of contracting Legionnaires’. If infection occurs, disease symptoms usually appear within two to ten days. Legionnaires’ is treatable with antibiotics and proper medical care.
We, therefore, urge anyone who suspects to be suffering from Legionnaire’s symptoms to immediately seek medical attention. If you need to be seen by a doctor immediately, you can visit MetroUrgiCare at 1550 University Avenue until 9PM during the week and until 5PM on weekends. You may also visit one of our many doctor offices in the Bronx. For more information about our office locations, please visit http://www.essenmd.com/. If you are physically or otherwise unable to leave your home, we encourage you to call EssenMed House Calls. EssenMed House Calls will promptly send a top-quality healthcare provider to treat you in the comfort and safety of your home.
For more information on EssenMED House Calls, call 718.294.6200 or visit www.essenmedhouscalls.org.
Established in 2005, EssenMED House Calls serves as New York State’s largest medical house calls provider, caring for nearly 4,000 home-bound, elderly and/or disabled patients throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester. Equipped with the latest state-of-the-art mobile technology, EssenMED House Calls providers travel to patient homes in order to deliver high-quality, compassionate health that ensures patient safety and comfort.
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