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Legionnaires' Disease Found at High School and Court Houses, Mayor Says

By  Aidan Gardiner and Eddie Small | August 10, 2015 9:45am 

THE BRONX — Seven more people have been infected by Legionnaires' disease, and inspectors have found the harmful bacteria at five more locations, including a public high school and two court houses, officials said.

There are now 109 people across the city who have been infected with the legionella bacteria — 10 of whom died as a result, officials said. That brings the number up from the 101 cases identified by the city as of Friday. Officials said the additional cases had been diagnosed before Aug. 3.

The city also released the locations of five new locations found to have been contaminated with legionella bacteria, including Samuel Gompers High School at 455 Southern Blvd., which the mayor ordered closed out of an abundance of caution, according to reports.

Officials said they also found legionella at the Bronx County Hall of Justice at 265 E. 161st St., as well as the Bronx Housing Court at 1118 Grand Concourse.

The bacteria was also found at the landmarked and largely vacant Bronx Post Office at 554 Grand Concourse, which is on deck to become retail and office space, as well as at a Verizon building at 1106 Hoe Ave., according to city officials.

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The new sites top a list of previously infected sites that included a luxury hotel, a hospital and another Verizon building.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said inspectors would scour buildings throughout the state, free of charge, to root out any remaining infected cooling towers.

The aggressive search for the disease comes after the city failed to follow up on the Legionnaires' death of a public school teacher in April. Family said the city ignored their pleas for a thorough investigation into his death.

Officials from the Department of Health hadn't inspected the site as of Monday morning, but planned to do so some time this week, according to school staff.