ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – According to Peter Buzzetti III, Director of Public Health, the Department of Health of Chemung County and the New York State Health Department are investigating an increased number of legionellosis cases in Chemung County Legionella bacteria. Several possible sources such as cooling towers, water tanks, large sanitary systems and fountains are being investigated. Most results are negative for legionella bacteria.
The transmission of Legionella is usually by inhaling tiny droplets of water in the air contaminated with bacteria, not by drinking the water or by contact with a person suffering from Legionella.
Public water supply systems are generally not sources of legionella outbreaks.
Most healthy individuals do not become infected with Legionella bacteria when exposed. People with a higher risk of illness suffer from chronic diseases, smoking, chronic lung diseases, cancer or a weakened immune system.
According to the Ministry of Health, there is no need for the public to change their activities against this background increase in cases. However, people with respiratory problems should contact their family doctor or seek medical help.
If you have questions about Legionella, please contact the Public Health Department at (607) 737-2028.