New York nursing home cited 7 times before Legionnaires' outbreak

Health officials determined that five people died of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in a New York City nursing home, The New York Times reported Nov. 12.

Legionella, a bacterium that causes the disease, can be spread through mist or vapor that might come from cooling towers, showers or hot tubs. Nine people contracted the disease from June to early September at the nursing home and five died as a result, making it the deadliest outbreak in New York City in seven years, according to the report.

The Times report found that city inspectors cited Amsterdam Nursing Home, a 409-bed facility, seven times in the past six years for not conducting routine maintenance, using inadequate startup procedures for the water towers and other alleged violations. Six infractions were dismissed after hearings, and the facility paid a $500 fine for not keeping the required records of water sample analysis, according to the report.

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