It’s unfortunate, but this outbreak was inevitable. And while the outbreak in Washington Heights is the latest episode in a sad saga, the real story is that New York repeatedly leads the nation in Legionnaires’ disease cases with the vast majority of individual cases being substantially ignored.
The City will continue to have an ongoing problem with Legionella bacteria unless they take their heads out of the sand and realize prevention requires a source to point-of-use solution.
The failure of our public officials to test the public water system for Legionella bacteria is a problem as our own sampling has shown Legionella bacteria can be readily found in areas like public fountains. The narrow scope of the City’s investigations to find the source of outbreaks and sporadic cases is also an issue.
New Yorkers should not accept that hundreds of Legionnaires’ disease infections every year is considered normal. It’s time to implement a real solution to this perennial problem.