Following the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease last summer in New York City, efforts were made by various policy makers, including local officials, the health department, and the mayor’s office to contain it from spreading and ensure that the threat did not occur in future. The danger, especially the Opera House Hotel’s cooling tower was eliminated, and there was massive disinfecting of cooling towers (Debucquoy-Dodley, para 3-4).
Possible Factors Behind the Problem
The environment, including the weather, is the factor that might have caused the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease given that the bacteria (Legionella) usually thrive in warm water. In fact, being summer, the weather might have contributed to the outbreak as the bacteria would grow and spread fast (Mazurkiewicz, 1).
The Source of the Outbreak
A warm water source has been identified as the possible cause of the outbreak in NYC. A South Bronx hotel’s cooling tower has been recognized as the possible origin of the outbreak. Tests on the strain identified at the cooling tower matched that revealed in patients suffering from the disease (Debucquoy-Dodley para 1-2).
The Population at Risk
The disease is not spread from one individual to another, but through the air carrying the bacteria (Mazurkiewicz, 2). Not every person is at the risk of becoming sick upon breathing in the bacteria. In fact, those who are at greater risk are individuals aged 50 years and above; former and current smokers; people with a chronic lung condition; persons taking drugs that affect immunity and those with low immunity.
Period of the Outbreak in NYC
The cases of Legionnaires’ disease started to be noted on January 2015 in NYC, peaking in July. However, the outbreak ended in August 2015 (Mazurkiewicz, 1). In essence, the outbreak of this infection left a record of over 100 people suffering from the disease.