Sickened by Legionnaires at Drew Hamilton Houses? Call (612) 337-6126

Elliot Olsen has regained millions for people injured by Legionnaires’ disease. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires at the Drew Hamilton Houses, please call Elliot at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

New York City’s health department is evaluating the water system at Drew Hamilton Houses, a NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartment complex in Harlem, after two residents contracted Legionnaires’ disease in the past year.

According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), residents of the apartment complex received letters informing them that two buildings are being evaluated for Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease.

The DOHMH’s public notification protocol for Legionnaires’ disease requires that health officials inform tenants when there are two or more cases reported at one building in a 12-month period.

Drew Hamilton Houses is a 734-unit affordable housing community located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard,

Drew Hamilton Houses:
Precautions advised

The DOHMH is evaluating the water system at Drew Hamilton Houses, and officials said they will test it for Legionella. Residents are still allowed to use and drink the water, but they are reminded that even fast-running water in a sink can create vapor that can be inhaled, so practice these precautions:

  • Don’t shower. Instead, take a bath by filling the tub slowly and minimizing time spent in the bathroom while the water is running.
  • Wash dishes but fill the sink slowly to avoid creating a mist.
  • Drink cold water from the tap and start with cold water when heating water for cooking, or making coffee or tea.
  • Wash hands frequently. But do not wear a mask – it’s unnecessary.
Drew Hamilton Houses latest in NYC to battle Legionnaires

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that the Drew Hamilton Houses apartment complex in Harlem is being investigated for Legionella bacteria because two residents have contracted Legionnaires’ disease in the past year. In 2018, Harlem was the site of two Legionnaires outbreaks.

Drew Hamilton Houses:
Water system suspected

In 2018, two outbreaks in Upper Manhattan killed two people and infected 59 others, and the cooling tower at Harlem’s Sugar Hill Project was the source for both outbreaks. Drew Hamilton Houses does not have a cooling tower, and that is why the water system is the primary suspect.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria thrive in warm water, and they are found primarily in human-made environments, including:

  • water systems of large buildings (apartment complexes, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, etc.)
  • air-conditioning system cooling towers
  • large plumbing systems
  • hot-water heaters and tanks
  • bathroom showers and faucets
  • swimming pools, whirlpools, hot tubs
  •  equipment used for physical therapy
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

Drew Hamilton Houses:
High-risk demographics

Most people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but people 50 years old and older – especially those who smoke or have chronic lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) – are at a higher risk. Others more susceptible to infection include:

  • organ-transplant recipients
  • people on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one)
  • people with a compromised immune system
  • alcoholics.

After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, hospitalization is almost always required. In the most severe cases, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, or even death.

About 10 percent of people infected with Legionella will die from the infection.

Drew Hamilton Houses:
Legionnaires symptoms

Legionnaires’ disease usually develops two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella, and it frequently begins with the following symptoms:

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

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

  • coughing, which can produce mucus or blood
  • shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • chest pains (pleurisy or pleuritis)
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • confusion and other mental changes.

Although Legionnaires’ disease is a respiratory illness that primarily affects the lungs, it can cause infections in wounds and in other parts of the body, including the heart.

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: