Sick with Legionnaires?
Call (612) 337-6126

Elliot Olsen is a nationally prominent Legionnaires lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member were sickened while at Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

Officials at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital said they have implemented water restrictions after two cases of Legionnaires’ disease were linked to the Park Slope hospital.

Water testing performed in December at Brooklyn Methodist Hospital returned positive results for Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease. Those results spurred an investigation by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

“It is common to find a small amount of Legionella in the water of many large buildings and hospitals,” read a statement released by Brooklyn Methodist Hospital officials. “Most people who were exposed to the bacteria would not become ill.”

NYSDOH officials said they are working with Brooklyn Methodist Hospital to prevent additional Legionnaires’ disease cases.

“The health and safety of our patients and staff is always our primary concern,” a Brooklyn Methodist Hospital official said. “Out of an abundance of caution and consistent with our safety protocol, we have implemented water restrictions. We work with the state and city departments of health to maintain a clean water supply and have already taken steps to disinfect our water sources.”

Additional information was not released on the two people who contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

Brooklyn Methodist Hospital is located at 506 6th Street in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Methodist Hospital:
difficult diagnosis

Legionnaires’ disease – also called Legionella pneumonia and legionellosis – is a severe type of lung infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 25,000 annual cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) in the U.S. Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with antibiotics if diagnosed early, but if that does not occur, severe complications can develop.

Brooklyn Methodist Hospital:
Legionnaires symptoms

Legionnaires’ disease can surface anywhere from two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella, and symptoms frequently begin with:

  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • fever, which can be 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • chills.

By Day 2 or 3, symptoms can worsen and include:

  • pleuritic chest pain (pleurisy), which happens when the lining of the lungs becomes inflamed
  • shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • cough, which can produce mucus or blood
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)
  • mental agitation or confusion.

Although Legionnaires’ disease primarily affects the lungs, it occasionally can cause infections in other parts of the body, including the heart.

Brooklyn Methodist Hospital:
Legionella sources

Legionella are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets (vapor or mist). The bacteria grow best in warm water and are found most commonly in built environments, including:

  • water systems in hospitals and nursing homes
  • large plumbing systems
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • hot-water heaters and tanks
  • showers and faucets
  • hot tubs, whirlpools, swimming pools
  • decorative fountains
  • cooling towers of air conditioning systems.

Brooklyn Memorial Hospital:
high-risk groups

Anyone can become ill from Legionella, but people most susceptible to infection include:

  • senior citizens
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • anyone on a specific drug protocol, such as corticosteroids
  • anyone with a compromised immune system
  • anyone with chronic lung disease or COPD (most commonly emphysema or bronchitis)
  • smokers, both current and former
  • alcoholics.

Around the U.S.:

Missouri rec center pool disinfected after Legionnaires confirmed

The indoor pool at a Missouri recreation center reopened Monday after being temporarily closed due to fears of Legionella contamination.

The City of Arnold Recreation Center in Jefferson County closed the pool Jan. 10 to disinfect it after the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) confirmed that a St. Louis County man who had visited the pool numerous times was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

“At this point, (health officials) are not sure where the case of Legionnaires was contracted,” said Arnold city administrator Bryan Richison, who added that the DHSS alerted the Jefferson County Health Department about the pool’s possible tie to the illness. “We are one of several places they are inspecting.”

The city-run rec center, located at 1695 Missouri State Road, was not required to close or disinfect the pool under state health codes but elected to do so out of an abundance of caution. Officials performed a “chlorine shock,” which consists of sterilizing the water by pouring a large amount of chlorine into it.

Water testing was not required because only one case was reported. However, Richison said, if a second person connected to the pool is diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, testing would be required.

Another Illinois Veterans Home reports illnesses

A resident of the Manteno Veterans Home tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease while being treated at a nearby hospital. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) said a rapid response was put into place once officials were informed of the confirmed case.

IDVA director Stephen Curda directed staff to notify residents, relatives and employees of the illness. “We are taking every precaution necessary to protect our residents, staff, and visitors at our Manteno Home,” Curda said in a statement.

The IDVA said water remediation began immediately. That process included flushing and heat-treating the facility’s potable water systems. In addition, ABC-7 reported that the vital signs of patients are being checked every four hours.

The Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy suffered Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks for four consecutive years (2015-18). During those events, 14 people died, and dozens more were sickened.

Free consultation

Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: