Seneca Tower Residents Meet With Health Officials After Legionnaires Discovery
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Residents of Rochester's Seneca Tower Apartments met with Monroe County Health officials to voice their concerns about Legionnaires' Disease.
The bacteria was recently found in the hot water system of the senior living complex after two residents became ill with Legionnaires.
Some people who live at the Seneca Tower Apartments are worried about their health.
"Actually my mother was sick for approximately a week and a half. She had some concerns that she may have been exposed to Legionnaires," said Derrick Adams of Rochester.
Adams' parents are among 500 or so seniors who live at Seneca Towers.
Residents there were notified by letter Friday that the building's hot water system had somehow been contaminated by the bacteria Legionella.
"It really didn't bother me too much because I know it can happen to anybody, anyplace, you know anytime," said Inez Russell, a Seneca Tower Resident.
According to the health department, the building's water system was tested about a week ago after a second case of Legionnaires was reported. Health officials say the first case was in May.
"A lot of the elders are concerned about their health being that their health has deteriorated and Legionnaires can affect individuals with deteriorated health immune system," said Adams.
Health officials say seniors are more at risk for being exposed to the disease, and Saturday residents met with the health department during several private information sessions the apartment's management organized.
"They informed us about the legionelle disease and what causes it and how it's affected this building, they were very helpful," said Valarie, a Seneca Tower Resident.
Residents say they were told the disease can cause pneumonia, and risks of exposure can come from showering, but not drinking the water.
Valarie says she's moved a week and a half ago and has concerns after acquiring pneumonia.
"I'm on an antibiotic. I wanted to know if the antibiotic was sufficient, and they informed me to contact my doctor," said Valarie.
They say they've been told maintenance crews will be in each apartment individually cleaning faucets, and that hot water temperatures would be turned up excessively to kill bacteria.
"I know that they will get it under control, and they will check out," said Russell.
Health officials say the contamination could clear up within days at the earliest.