Thursday, August 27, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Ban Kids from Getting Soda- Pol says

BRONX NEWS: Ban Kids from Getting Soda- Pol says: Soda Jerk Dim Bulb Pol Wants to Stop Selling Soda to Kids   By Dan Gesslein  BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- In a city where you...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bronx Sports: Dog Days for Slumping #Yankees

Bronx Sports: Dog Days for Slumping #Yankees: Dog Days for Slumping Yankees By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK (SPORTS)- There is no panic in that New York Yankees clubhouse and the man...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Source of Legionnaires Found! Outbreak Over- Healt...

BRONX NEWS: Source of Legionnaires Found! Outbreak Over- Healt...: Source of Legionnaires Found Outbreak Over- Health Officials Say By Dan Gesslein  BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- Health officials ...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hunts Point News: 3 Sickened by #Legionnaires Set to Sue

Hunts Point News: 3 Sickened by #Legionnaires Set to Sue: 3 Sickened by #Legionnaires Set to Sue By Michael Horowitz BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS) -Two men and a woman, who say that they cau...

3 Sickened by #Legionnaires Set to Sue

3 Sickened by #Legionnaires Set to Sue

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS) -Two men and a woman, who say that they caught Legionnaires’ Disease in Co-op City, are suing the housing company and the former managing agents in the northeast Bronx community.

The litigants are among eight individuals with Co-op City connections who contracted Legionnaires’ Disease late last year. 

An additional two Co-op City shareholders living in the same building, one in 2012 and the other in 2013, caught Legionnaires’ Disease, the city’s Health Department reported in March of last year.

Those suing include Ronald Hines Jr., a 29-year-old man from Co-op City, and Ralph Motta, a 44-year-old man who worked at the Bay Plaza shopping center, both of whom have been seriously debilitated. Neither Motta nor Hines has been able to work since being sickened by Legionnaires’ Disease in December, Bronx News has been told.

Catherine Durso, a Bronxite who visited Co-op City in October of last year, is also suing the Riverbay Corporation, Co-op City’s housing company, and Marion Scott Real Estate, Inc., the former managing agents for the nation’s largest housing complex.

Durso, like Hines and Motta, has had her lifestyle seriously compromised as a result of the severe form of pneumonia that she contracted, her attorneys claimed in a lawsuit that they filed on behalf of her and her husband.

The cooling tower at Co-op City was, late last year and early this year, contaminated by the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ Disease, the city’s Health Department officials said in January.

Since that time, Co-op City’s cooling tower has been decontaminated to the satisfaction of Health Department officials. The cooling tower at the Bay Plaza shopping center was also contaminated with the Legionnaires’ Disease bacteria in late 2014, before being decontaminated. 

Despite assurances from Health Department officials, a number of Co-op City’s civic activists remain concerned about Legionnaires’ Disease, insisting that there could be additional problems with the community’s domestic water system, which carries water to Co-op City’s apartment through a series of pumps and connections that go from one floor to another in individual buildings.

Health Department officials have stated that they are confident that the Co-op City cooling tower was the source of the Legionnaires’ Disease, which eight individuals associated with the community contracted in late-2014.

Legionnaires’ Disease is not communicable, meaning it is not spread from one individual to another. Rather, the disease is spread through mists, such as those that can come from contaminated showerhead or water faucets.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hunts Point News: #Legionnaires Meeting Calms Few

Hunts Point News: #Legionnaires Meeting Calms Few: Legionnaires Meeting Calms Few Tempers Rise as Few Answers Given By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- The temperature ...

#Legionnaires Meeting Calms Few

Legionnaires Meeting Calms Few

Tempers Rise as Few Answers Given

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- The temperature wasn’t the only thing simmering as South Bronx residents’ concerns grow over the outbreak of Legionnaires Disease that has claimed 7 lives and infected 86 people.

At a town hall meeting at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the city tried to calm residents’ concerns over the outbreak of the pneumonia-like disease, which has spread throughout the South Bronx. Residents waited in line for hours in the heat as some were turned away from the small venue. Those who made it inside were treated to city health officials repeating the same points that have been broadcast on the story. As to what is the cause of the outbreak little is still known.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett explained that Legionnaire Disease can only be contracted by inhaling contaminated water vapor from cooling towers, and cannot be transmitted from person to person. It was explained that in the very hot weather if not properly cleaned and maintained the cooling towers on top of buildings can become breeding grounds for the Legionnaire Disease bacteria. It was stressed that the NYC water supply was in no danger from the bacteria, because it is only found in the cooling towers that evaporate the heat in buildings to water vapor.

Dr. Bassett stressed that there was an incubation period of 2 - 10 days for Legionnaire Disease, and that is why we still see new cases. As of Tuesday morning there were seven deaths, and 86 cases of Legionnaire Disease recorded. Bassett stressed that if you think you may have Legionnaire Disease to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms are fever, cough, chills, and muscle aches. People who smoke or have lung disease, the elderly, and people with diabetes are of the highest risk of catching Legionnaire Disease. Five percent of all cases of Legionnaire Disease result in death, and that there are 250 - 300 reported cases of Legionnaire Disease each year. This year there have been 256 cases of Legionnaire Disease reported so far.

This recent outbreak of Legionnaire Disease in the Bronx started on July 12th. Since then 22 buildings were visited, 17 cooling towers in all were inspected, and 5 cooling towers were found to be contaminated and have been disinfected already by the city. The health commissioner said that there could be any one of many reasons for Legionnaire Disease bacteria to grow, and that the city council would be looking into legislation to address the matter.

Despite the presentation, many in attendance told the News that not much of what they were told was new information. That coupled with few answers and the restricted number of people at the meeting has some concern about how forth coming city officials were being.

It is unclear why a larger venue for such an important meeting was not chosen. For example when then Mayor Rudy Giuliani had a town hall on crime reduction in Bedford Park he chose a large school auditorium to accommodate the hundreds of residents who had questions. Usually such meetings are held in schools were they can accommodate large crowds who have plenty of questions.

Although those who attended the meeting were not panicking, few said there fears have subsided. The sheer scope of the affected areas have many residents concerned. Concourse Plaza testing positive is particularly disturbing because of the high traffic of the shopping center. In addition to locals shopping in the supermarket many people from throughout the borough who attend jury duty at the courthouse across the street eat at the mall’s food court. In addition Yankee Stadium is just down the road.

Concourse Plaza as well as the other sites have been decontaminated.

Another question not addressed is why the outbreak occurred in the first place. Were detection and cleanup efforts not stepped up when a much smaller outbreak was detected in Co-op City earlier this year? Twelve people came down with Legionnaires after a cooling tower in the sprawling complex tested positive for the disease. No one died from that outbreak.

A day after the town hall meeting Mayor deBlasio said the outbreak has slowed and he believes health officials now have a handle on the problem.

Bassett said she is confident that they have located the primary source of the outbreak. One of the five cooling towers that tested positive is believed to be the source and has since been decontaminated.

“Although we will continue to see cases, we expect the case rate to decline and the number of cases to fall over the coming weeks,” Bassett said.

This week deBlasio called for new legislation to inspect water towers in an attempt to locate signs for the disease before another outbreak.
“It is encouraging that Mayor de Blasio has joined my call for new legislation in response to this current outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

 “As the scope and depth of the outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease in the South Bronx came into focus last week, I proposed new legislation that would allow the city to be proactive—and not reactive—to such outbreaks. Together, with Council Member Vanessa Gibson, we are introducing legislation creating an inspection mechanism for those systems where Legionnaires' Disease can thrive and to ensure appropriate follow-up inspections so that the disease does not return.

“It is the responsibility of government to protect the health and well-being of the public, and this common sense proposal will help do just that. It cannot be forgotten that seven Bronx residents have died during this outbreak. An appropriate inspection mechanism could have saved lives,” said Diaz.

#LegionnairesDisease #HealthDepartment #deBlasio