CHEMUNG COUNTY, N.Y. (WENY) – The Chemung County Department of Health has confirmed to WENY News that the number of Legionnaires' cases in the county is now up to 11.

The new figure is an increase of four cases from the previously reported seven.

As WENY News reported, the New York State Department of Health is helping county officials determined the source of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease.

Last week, state officials were in the are testing cooling towers and at least one decorative fountain in the area. Officials say this week, testing was also conducted at some area homes.

County officials tell WENY News the results typically take 10 to 14 days to come back.

Officials say it is important to know the following about Legionellosis, or Legionnaires' Disease:

  • Legionellosis is caused by infection with Legionella bacteria. Multiple possible sources are being investigated such as cooling towers, water tanks, large plumbing systems and fountains. Most of the time, results are negative for Legionella bacteria.

  • Legionella is typically transmitted by breathing in tiny water droplets present in the air contaminated with the bacteria, not by drinking the water nor by being in contact with someone who is ill with Legionella. Public water systems are not commonly found to be sources of Legionella outbreaks.

  • Most healthy individuals do not become infected with Legionella bacteria when exposed. People at higher risk of getting sick are those with a history of chronic disease, smoking, chronic lung disease, cancer or weakened immune systems.

  • There is no need for the public to modify their activities in light of this increase in cases. However, persons with respiratory illness should contact their primary care physician or seek health care.

If you have any question regarding Legionella, please call the Health Department at (607) 737-2028.

View a Legionellosis Fact Sheet at: