The number of deaths from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in New York has risen to eight and 97 people were reported sick with it, according to statistics released by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.
More than half of the 92 people hospitalized were treated and released, the mayor’s office said on Wednesday.
De Blasio said earlier this week the outbreak triggered an effort to mandate city-wide inspections and cleanings of air conditioning cooling towers.
Since July 10, the outbreak has been concentrated in the South Bronx neighborhood, which is one of the poorest in the United States. All the people who died of the disease were all older adults with underlying medical problems.
The disease, a severe kind of pneumonia, is contracted by breathing in mist from cooling towers infected with the bacteria Legionella. The incubation period for Legionnaires’ disease is 10 days.