Newark: Confirmed Case of Legionnaires’ Disease In Senior Building

Source: RLS Media

New Jersey Department of Health officials in Newark have confirmed that a 61-year-old man hospitalized since spring 2022 contracted and has been sickened by Legionnaires disease.

On April 30th, the resident was taken via ambulance to the hospital after experiencing severe pneumonia-like symptoms while living at the Seth Boyden Elderly Towers in the city’s South Ward. The 15-story high rise located at 120 Dayton Street was constructed in 1968 and is under the management of The Newark Housing Authority.

Some residents received a letter from Newark Housing Authority that explained the following on Thursday: “We are writing to notify you that Seth Boyden Senior Residential Building AMP 2022-0020, located at 120 Dayton Street, has been notified by the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness (NDHCW) that a tenant of our building has been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by bacteria called Legionella.”

Managers proactively tested the water in this individual’s apartment and found Legionella bacteria. In consultation with city and state health officials, the water throughout the building was tested to determine how widespread the problem is.

Vicent Rouse, the Newark Housing Authority Director of Operations and pastor of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Newark showed met with residents this week to report results of testing the water supply inside the building: “People can get Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in small droplets of water in the air containing Legionella bacteria. Aerosolized water can come from showers, faucets, hot tubs, humidifiers, and decorative fountains.”

Rouse said the risk of getting sick from a building’s water is shallow, especially for healthy people. “The disease does not spread from person to person. This is even more important if you are 50 or older — especially if you smoke cigarettes — have chronic lung disease, have a weakened immune system, or take medicines that weaken your immune system.”

While Legionnaires’ disease is severe, it can be treated with antibiotics.

A rodent and insect investigation, trash and garbage buildup, poor security, dirty hallways and a rude/disrespectful office manager are some other issues residents complained about.

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