Health officials confirmed on Wednesday another case of Legionnaires' disease in Queens, taking the total to 13 people sickened over the past two weeks.
The city health department said Tuesday that 12 people in downtown Flushing had been sickened over the past two weeks, and that they were evaluating two more possible cases.
12 patients have been treated so far, with one still hospitalized, officials said Wednesday. No deaths have been reported.
The health department said it has not seen a new case in the area since last Thursday.
The initial 12 people sickened ranged in age from early 30s to late 80s, but most are over 50. All were hospitalized and had serious underlying health conditions, according to the health department.
The health department said it inspected and sampled all active cooling towers in the Flushing neighborhood for Legionella, the bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease.
Symptoms of the disease are similar to the flu and include cough, fever, nausea, and stomach discomfort.
Officials said there is no risk to drinking water sources, but they advise anyone exhibiting the symptoms to seek medical help immediately.
The bacteria are not usually contagious — although they can possibly spread in rare cases — and can be treated with antibiotics.
The health department said there are between 200 and 400 cases of Legionnaires' disease in the city every year.
Earlier this year, one person died and several others were sickened when a Legionnaires' cluster broke out on the Upper East Side.
In 2015, there were multiple clusters of Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx. More than 100 people got sick and 12 died in the largest one, which was clustered in the South Bronx.
In response to the deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' two years ago, the city adopted new guidelines, requiring building owners to register their cooling towers, which would be inspected and tested on a regular basis.
We're told that the vast majority of towers in the area are in compliance, but since the cluster has to come light, they have found a number of towers not on that registry.