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1 dead, 1 ill after Legionnaire's outburst in the former Best Western




GUILDERLAND – One died and another became ill after an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease had occurred in a supervised residential facility in which a hotel broke out The officials familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The Albany County Department of Health confirmed Thursday that two people were walking along the boardwalk at University Place, a former Best Western Sovereign hotel, at 1228 Western Ave. Officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that one resident died on Wednesday.


The cases come seven years after the guests entered Legionaries after their stay at the hotel, which is located opposite the University at the entrance of the subway station of Albany. The hotel was converted into senior housing and opened in late December.

About a week ago, the county heard of the outbreak and instituted an investigation with the State Department of Health monitoring the 200-bed assisted living facility Elizabeth Whalen, the district health commissioner, said two Cases would have a common source.


An initial assessment linked both cases to the promenade in Guilderland, where water samples showed "preliminary positive results for Legionella". Final results are expected within one week.

"The tests were conducted on the same day we became aware of the second case," Whalen said. "The facility was responsible. They've proactively installed new shower filters and bottled drinking water and supported it with all bathing methods to really make sure they do not endanger extra residents.


Legionnaire's disease is pneumonia caused by bacteria. People are usually exposed to inhalation of mist from a shower, whirlpool or A / C contaminated with Legionella. Those who have cancer, endanger, smoke or smoke the immune system and / or are over 50 years of age are at greater risk. Whalen said, "The assisted living facility informed staff, residents and relatives of the confirmed cases on Wednesday."

"We acted immediately to tackle the matter and make sure." that we remain at the forefront of our residents' safety, "said Paul Belitsis, CFO of the facility, who would not confirm any death." We openly communicate with them. "


The facility Belitsis said has 23 residents "Water restrictions are being used by the Ministry of Health," spokeswoman for the agency, Jill Montag, said in an e-mail saying she "continues to monitor the situation closely," she said.


Ministry of Health officials said 19 People who contracted the Best Western disease between 2010 and 2012. Six came from other states, 13 from New York

When the first cases were confirmed, the hotel closed in early 2012, replacing kettles and tubing The system was rinsed and reopened after the bacteria had determined that the bacteria were gone, and four more guests developed the disease after they had had been opened again. After 2012, there were no more cases related to the hotel, but it is not known what action was taken after the additional cases after the reopening of the hotel.

At least two guests filed a lawsuit against the hotel in 2012 to pay unspecified damages The time after vomiting. The status of these cases is unclear.



Plans for the transformation of the hotel into senior housing were unveiled in 2016 by the Guilderland Planning Board of Promenade Senior Living, a Tuxed, NY business. The company has several facilities for senior housing, mainly in the hinterland.

Belitsis said the Guilderland site has undergone major renovations, including the installation of new water heaters, piping and fittings.


"We are always concerned about the safety and being of our residents," he said. "Given the steps and measures of the renovation work – the far-reaching measures we have taken – and the consultation with the people, we felt there was no reason that this problem would reappear."

The Capital Region had previously dealt with outbreaks of legionnaires' disease Recently in the area of ​​Saratoga Springs, where a governmental investigation in 2016 was extended to 18 patients, many of whom were ill during the period in which they had the disease who either stayed or stayed at the Wesley Health Care Center.

Interior Ministry officials identified five sources of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. State investigators could not find any source of bacteria outside of Wesley. Some of the patients studied had not been associated with Wesley.

The cause of the contamination can not always be found. Legionella occur naturally in the environment, mostly in the water, but grow best in warm water such as hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks and large sanitary systems that are not properly maintained.


New York, including New York City Every year, between 500 and 1,000 cases of legionellosis are diagnosed. It is more commonly identified during the summer and early autumn, but can happen at any time of year, state health officials said.


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