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Coronavirus Business Shutdowns and Legionnaires’ Disease

The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted New York City in a profound way, leaving residents infected and businesses closed for prolonged periods of time. As the city’s economy gradually opens up as cases decrease, the risk of infection is still present.

However, an unexpected potential source of disaster may also be an uptick in Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks. If you or a loved one has contracted Legionnaires’ Disease due to a closed business, our New York City Legionnaires’ Disease lawyers can help.

How Does Coronavirus Pose a Risk of Legionnaires’ Disease?

The coronavirus pandemic can actually increase the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease due to the massive shutdowns New York City (and the rest of the United States) has had to endure to reduce the spread of infections. Businesses that have abruptly shut down for months may not have had the opportunity to properly disinfect or treat any large plumbing systems or water storage facilities before shutting down. These sources, if left stagnant and untouched for months, can be optimal conditions for Legionella growth.

Additionally, with many businesses closing down in the peak of summer, the high temperatures can contribute to these water sources heating up to a temperature that is optimal for Legionella growth – typically around 77F – 108F.

Legionnaires’ Disease and Coronavirus Can Be Dangerous

It is also important to consider the further health impacts that COVID-19 can have on those suffering from a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak. Although Legionnaires’ Disease is fairly treatable, it can significantly weaken a person’s lungs, requiring continued monitoring and extra care. If these patients are exposed to coronavirus, another respiratory illness, the sickness may prove fatal.

The same is true vice-versa: if those who contracted COVID-19 and recovered from it end up contracting Legionnaires’ Disease, their damaged lungs may not be strong enough to fight through a bout of severe pneumonia.

Ultimately, the increased potential of both COVID-19 and Legionnaires’ Disease exposure can be incredibly dangerous to the health of multiple individuals.

What is Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionnaires’ Disease is a rare, acute respiratory illness that can cause severe pneumonia in those who contract it. It can cause flu-like symptoms that progress to pneumonia in a relatively quick timeframe. This includes:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing and trouble breathing

Although Legionnaires’ Disease is completely treatable with antibiotics, it usually requires a hospital stay to ensure full recovery – and future monitoring in case of permanent lung damage.

How Can I Get Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionnaires’ Disease is caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria, a pathogen that naturally occurs in fresh water sources such as rivers and lakes. Under the right circumstances, Legionella can grow in warm, stagnant waters – such as those typically found in man-made water storage sources. In New York City, this commonly includes:

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has contracted Legionnaires’ Disease due to a COVID-19 business shutdown, please contact The Lange Law Firm, PLLC today to discuss your situation. We understand that this may be a difficult time for everyone in New York City, and we are here to answer any questions and lend any help and support we can during this trying time.

Schedule a free consultation today and see how we can help you.