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DOH and NYC DOHMH Issue Joint Advisory Regarding Legionellosis

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) issued a joint advisory on June 20th notifying various providers that the state has a high burden of Legionellosis. The guidance is directed specifically at nursing homes, home health providers, diagnostic and treatment centers, as well as local health departments (LHDs), labs, and specific health care professionals. The advisory details identification, testing, and reporting requirements for Legionnaires' disease.

The advisory states:

Clinical suspicion for the possibility of Legionnaires' disease coupled with culture of respiratory secretions is critical to the identification of and intervention in community clusters. Legionellosis occurs year-round, with increased incidence during the summer and early fall and cannot be distinguished from other causes of pneumonia on clinical or radiologic grounds and requires diagnostic testing in hospitalized or at-risk patients with suspected pneumonia.

The advisory reviews public health reporting requirements, specific to provider type and location, and provides contact information to do so. Members are encouraged to review the guidance to ensure that appropriate testing, treatment, and reporting is taking place.

Questions regarding clinical or epidemiological information should be directed to your LHD or the DOH Bureau of Communicable Disease Control (BCDC) at 518-473-4439 or epiLegionella@health.ny.gov. For questions pertaining to NYC residents, call the NYC DOHMH Provider Access Line at 866-692-3641.

Contact: Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8828