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Legionella Bacteria Discovered In Water Supply Of Bronx Hospital

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A trace of legionella bacteria has been found in the water supply of a Bronx hospital.

CBS2's Lisa Rozner spoke with visitors Saturday at Jacobi Medical Center in the Morris Park section.

"I didn't know," John Nelson asked while visiting his baby grandson. "My wife told me that the water was bad, don't drink anything. They've been giving them bottled water, so I didn't know what the hell was going on."

The city-run hospital said low levels of the bacteria were found in the water during routine testing of the potable water supply.

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the bacteria. It's treatable and is not contagious.

"The doctor told her don't wash her hands in the water or anything like that, use hand sanitizer," said another visitor.

Under guidance from the state's Department of Health, the hospital said only bottled water is being used, and packaged bath wipes are being made available for daily hygiene. The hospital is also installing new water filters on showers.

"That's just a Band-Aid, that's a Band-Aid. They need to get to the root of the problem," another visitor added.

The hospital said no one has been sickened by the bacteria and there is very low risk to patients, staff and visitors. The water supply is being treated and closely monitored.

Last week, the city health officials confirmed 22 people in the Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights area were recently infected by Legionnaires' disease, including one death. Cooling towers may be to blame; test results are pending.

In 2015, an outbreak in the Bronx left 12 dead.

For more information on Legionnaires', click here.

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