Local News

Tompkins County Health Department Advises of Local Increase in Legionellosis Cases

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Tompkins County Whole Health is advising the community of an increase in cases of the illness Legionellosis.


Legionellosis is caused by exposure to the bacteria Legionella. Its a term used to describe multiple diseases, including Legionnaires Disease, Pontiac Fever and Extrapulmonary Legionellosis. Since June of 2023, twelve cases have been identified in the City and Town of Ithaca, with one death reported as of yesterday. Symptoms of Legionellosis can include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches and headaches as well as pneumonia if left untreated. Those most at risk include current or former smokers as well as those with chronic lung disease.

Currently there’s no established connection between the local cases and risk to the general public is low, though caution is advised for those most at risk. Legionellosis is not common but can prove to be fatal.

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