LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Recently, 11 cases of Legionellosis were reported in Niagara County.
During that time, a cooling tower at Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport tested positive for Legionella bacteria that exceeded 1,000 colony-forming units per milliliter.
Two of the 11 people infected by the disease died.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of these individuals,” said Daniel J. Stapleton, Niagara County Public Health Director. “We continue to use every expert staff resource available to investigate for a possible source of these infections, including the assistance and guidance of the NYSDOH Division of Epidemiology. The NCDOH Public Engineers have inspected 41 facilities with 90 cooling towers to ensure compliance with NYS bacterial monitoring regulations. Several have been rechecked.”
As testing and investigation continues, the Niagara County Department of Health says a “definitive link” between the hospital and the cases has not been made.
New regulations put in place this summer say that owners of cooling towers must notify the county and state departments of health if any water samples test positive for Legionella bacteria.