Niagara County NY sees second death linked to Legionnaires' outbreak

A second death in Niagara County, N.Y., has been linked to Legionnaires', according to The Buffalo News.

On Oct. 18, the Niagara County Health Department announced an ongoing investigation in coordination with the New York State Department of Health into a cluster of eight Legionnaires' infections potentially linked to Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport.

Health officials discovered a cooling tower at the hospital tested positive for Legionella. Other towers in the area are currently being tested. The Niagara County Health Department has not confirmed any deaths related to the outbreak.

On Tuesday, Buffalo News reported a former patient of Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport died on July 22 after being transferred to Buffalo General Hospital. The patient's daughter told Buffalo News her father's death certificate listed Legionnaires' as the cause of death.

The New York State Health Department, in an email, informed Buffalo News of a second death attributable to Legionnaires' in the county. In the email, the state health department said, "Patient confidentially prohibits DOH from releasing identifiable information about individual cases."

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria. It can be contracted by inhaling mist from infected water sources such as air-conditioning facilities, steam rooms and plumbing systems. It is not spread by person-to-person contact or by drinking water.

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