NYC identifies source of deadly Legionnaires’ disease

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City health officials have identified a Bronx hotel as the source of a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said Thursday that tests matched the strain of Legionnaires’-causing bacteria in a rooftop air-conditioning unit at the Opera House Hotel with a strain found in 25 patients. Some of them died.

The South Bronx outbreak began last month. Twelve patients have died, and more than 100 others were sickened.

The bacteria have been found in 18 rooftop air-conditioning units, also called cooling towers.

The hotel’s century-old building once housed performances by Harry Houdini and the Marx Brothers.

The hotel has said that its cooling tower has been cleaned routinely and that managers acted quickly to get it cleaned again after learning of the Legionnaires’ problem. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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