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Albany County confirms cases of legionella infection

Albany County confirms cases of legionella infection

Presence of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease confirmed at Promenade assisted living facility
Albany County confirms cases of legionella infection
Photographer: Shutterstock

The presence of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease has been confirmed at the Promenade assisted living facility on Route 20 in Albany, and officials have now linked one illness and a death to the disease.

Two people tested positive for legionella, the bacteria that causes the disease, and one of them died, according to a statement released Thursday by Albany County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen. The statement added that the cause of death had not been determined, as of Thursday night.

County officials were working with the state Department of Health on an environmental investigation, after water samples at the Promenade facility tested positive for legionella, according to the Albany County health officials.

The statement said Promenade management had taken "proactive steps" since the results came in, including installing new shower filters and providing bottled water for drinking. 

Legionella is transmitted through inhalation of small droplets of water and can cause a severe form pneumonia. People older than 50, and people with weakened immune systems, are most at risk of health problems due to the bacteria.

In 2016, an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease in Saratoga Springs caused two deaths. More than a dozen people were diagnosed at the time, including seven connected to the Wesley Heath Care Center. 

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