Seven dead, 86 infected as New York officials identify and disinfect cooling towers filled with Legionnaires bacteria

Legionella risk assessment

The Washington Post USA ( reports that so far the New York city Legionella outbreak has claimed the lives of seven (7) people, and eighty six (86) people are sick after contracting Legionairres’ Disease, probably from an infected cooling towers.


Update 20 August 2015

Since the original reports regarding the New York City Legionella outbreak report above, the death toll has risen to twelve (12) people, with more than 100+ diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease.

During the course of the outbreak it transpired that New York City USA, lagged behind Hong Kong, with administrators having no legislative powers for monitoring and enforcing cooling tower operations, that changed on 19 August 2015 when the NY Mayor pushed through legislation [link] requiring improved cooling tower operation and maintenance.

During the course of this legionella outbreak apparently five (5) cooling towers were discovered with Legionella contamination, although the precise source of this outbreak has not been established.


Kelcroft’s John A. Herbert WSD lecture on Legionella

green building consultant John Herbert Hong Kong Legionella prevention

Kelcroft’s director John A. Herbert conducted a Legionella briefing for Hong Kong’s Water Services Dept. (WSD) on 7th March 2012 with assistant directors attending. The Q&A, always the most interesting part in my view, covered all aspects of water storage and distribution.

Relevant Links:
4 Jan 2012 –  Kelcroft’s director John A. Herbert interviewed for South China Morning Post news regarding Legionella

Kelcroft’s John A. Herbert lectures on Legionella

Our director John A. Herbert conducted a two hour seminar last week titled “Prevention of Legionella in Buildings” raising awareness about the connection of Legionnaires Disease and building stock in Hong Kong. Herbert said “Legionella is prevalent and business should be prepared, if an Legionella outbreak occurred tomorrow many organisations are not prepared”.

Legionella prevention seminar Hong Kong, John A. Herbert, Kelcroft E&M limited

This seminar covered the ecology of Legionella from cradle to infection, citing past cases with cooling towers and other plumbing apparatus. John’s presentation was vividly illustrated with his photographs demonstrating poor design, and unsatisfactory installations he has amassed over the years.