Brooklyn hospital on alert for Legionella after bacterial contaminant found in water

The New York state Health Department found the water supply at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City may be contaminated with Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires' disease, according to the New York Daily News.

A patient at the hospital recently was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease but was most likely already infected before going to the hospital, an internal memo from the hospital said.

It not clear whether there is a connection between that patient and the bacterial strain that may have contaminated the water supply.

Officials told staff and patients at the Brooklyn hospital to drink bottled water and avoid taking showers. Additionally, the hospital's ice machines are off limits until a proper filtration system is in place.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we are requesting that our patients and staff follow new water restrictions, including the use of bottled water for drinking and tooth brushing," a hospital spokesperson said. "We are taking all appropriate actions to address the matter."

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