Traces of the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease have been found in the water at a Manhattan police station where an officer who recently fell ill works, the police and health officials said on Sunday.
The police officer, whose name was not released, was recovering from Legionnaires’ disease at a hospital outside the city, while city Health Department workers looked for the source of the contamination discovered at the 23rd Precinct station house on East 102nd Street in East Harlem.
The Health Department began investigating the water at the precinct on Friday night, when it was notified that the officer had been diagnosed with the disease and that the Legionella bacteria that cause it had been found in the police station’s water supply. In a statement on Sunday, the agency said this case of illness was “potentially associated” with the officer’s workplace, the New York Times reports.
Officers can still work in the building, but the Health Department has advised them to avoid taking showers there, and to use cold water for drinking and for preparing hot beverages and food until the investigation is complete. Hot water has been shut down at the precinct as a precaution, the police said.