Five further individuals have contracted Legionnaires’ illness in Hamilton and one other person has died, following a cluster of cases first detected a year ago within the Mercer County town.
The whole quantity of cases stretching again to August 2020 is now 9, with three deaths, and so they stay below investigation by the state Department of Health, the town and state reported Tuesday in a joint assertion.
Hamilton first reported 4 cases of Legionnaires last August, two of which have been deadly.
Since then, officers mentioned Wednesday, they recognized 5 more cases, one from November 2020 and 4 from May to August 2021.
One person died final month, described solely as an aged township resident.
“The water is safe to drink, but there are basic precautions that residents can take to help protect themselves – such as regularly flushing water at their taps and maintaining their hot water tank,” state epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan mentioned in an announcement issued by Hamilton.
Tan famous that residence air con items don’t use water as a cooling agent and don’t aerosolize water, thus aren’t a danger for rising Legionella, the micro organism that causes the disease, which is unfold by the inhalation of contaminated water droplets.
Legionnaires’ illness is a pneumonia that’s treatable with antibiotics, and health officers confused that anybody with signs search medical attention.
The important signs – cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and complications – are much like these of COVID-19. And whereas many individuals uncovered to Legionella don’t get sick, people who find themselves 50 years or older, particularly those that smoke cigarettes, or with different medical situations or weakened immune techniques, are at larger danger for the illness.
Hamilton will get a portion of its drinking water from Trenton Water Works, the city-based public utility that additionally offers water to elements of Lawrence, Ewing and Hopewell Valley cities. Hamilton can also be served by Aqua, a personal water firm.
But officers mentioned the Legionnaires points seems to be based mostly in Hamilton.
“While water samples collected at [Trenton Water Works’ treatment plant and central pumping station] have consistently shown no presence of Legionella, water samples collected from homes and businesses in Hamilton Township served by TWW, have identified the presence of Legionella,” the assertion says.
“There is concern that Legionella may be present in other buildings and homes in the area,” the assertion says.
No different cities served by Trenton Water Works have publicly reported Legionnaires cases.
Mark A. Lavenberg, Trenton’s water and sewer director, mentioned within the assertion: “We continue to work with our partners at the New Jersey Department of Health and Hamilton Township to empower residents in Hamilton and in our service area on how to protect themselves and their families from Legionnaires’ disease.”
Lavenberg mentioned Trenton Water Works is launching a public consciousness marketing campaign on Oct. 1 to coach their clients about Legionnaires, which he characterised as a “critical public health issue.”
Officials say Hamilton owners and companies are urged to contemplate precautions to guard themselves from Legionnaires, a list which can be found here, and mentioned healthcare suppliers treating Hamilton residents ought to preserve the next “high index of suspicion” for Legionnaires’ illness when evaluating signs.
“I want to thank [state health officials] for their involvement in studying the frustrating frequency of Legionnaires’ disease cases in Hamilton over the past decade and working with TWW and our Division of Health to keep the residents of Hamilton safe,” Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin mentioned. “Clean and safe drinking water is a human right – one that we will continue to fight to make sure all residents can comfortably know they have access to.”
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Kevin Shea could also be reached at [email protected].