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More Cases Of Legionnaires' Disease Diagnosed In The Bronx; 7 Cooling Towers Test Positive

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Seven cooling towers in the area of Morris Park in the Bronx have tested positive for Legionella bacteria, city health officials announced on Tuesday.

This as more cases of Legionnaires' Disease have been confirmed in the newest outbreak to hit the borough.

There are now 10 cases linked to a cluster in Morris Park. That's up from seven when the cluster was announced on Monday.

The city said all of the cooling towers that tested positive were cleaned under the Aug. 6 mandate that was issued in response to a deadly outbreak in the South Bronx.

"Any where that we have water and it's warm, it's possible to find Legionnaires'," New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said on a town hall-style conference call Tuesday evening.

All seven locations have been ordered to begin cleaning and disinfection, health officials said.

More Cases Of Legionnaires' Disease Diagnosed In Morris Park

Nine people are now hospitalized with the disease, CBS2 reported. The 10th person was treated and released.

Officials said the first case of the new cluster was reported Sept. 21. So far, no fatalities have been reported.

Legionella bacteria in a cooling tower caused the outbreak of the disease in the South Bronx over the summer that contributed to at least 12 deaths.

Basset said she doesn't believe these cases are connected to that deadly outbreak, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.

Elvis said she wants to know why this keeps happening in the Bronx.

"Not knowing where I'm at right now...that's what I want to know. I mean, how do they find it?" she said.

Those questions and more could be answered at a Town Hall meeting scheduled by the health department for Thursday night, Jones reported.

Officials said New York City sees about 200 to 300 cases of Legionnaires' disease a year.

New cooling tower cleaning regulations were put in place after the deadly outbreak over the summer.

Legionnaires' disease — a form of pneumonia especially dangerous for the elderly and for people with underlying health issues — can usually be traced to places favorable to Legionella growth such as cooling towers, hot water tanks, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers and condensers in large air conditioning systems.

It is spread through contaminated mist and cannot be spread from person to person.

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