NEW YORK — Eight people have now died from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the South Bronx, according to usatoday.com.

The disease has put 92 people in the hospital, noted the article. Forty-eight have been treated and released.

The source of the outbreak has been traced to five cooling towers, which tested positive for Legionella bacteria, reported the article. The towers are located at Streamline Plastic Co., Lincoln Hospital, Concourse Plaza shopping center, the Opera House Hotel and a Verizon office building.

The towers have since been disinfected, and they must now submit plans on how they will be protected from the bacteria’s return, stated the article.

Legionnaires’ disease cannot spread from person to person, shared the article. Instead, people can become infected when they inhale water contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. Common sources include hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks and cooling towers.

City officials believe the drinking water supply is safe, noted the article. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Legionnaires’ outbreaks have become too common over the past decade, so new legislation will be announced that include long-term prevention of the disease. An outreach program is also underway to educate at-risk populations including senior citizens and the homeless.

Legionella bacteria was discovered in 1976 after 29 people attending an American Legion convention died of pneumonia from an unknown bacteria, stated the article.

According to a UV-Guard press release, ultraviolet disinfection can be effective in combating Legionella bacteria.

You can find the entire article here.

Read more on how water treatment can prevent Legionella bacteria here.