Rochester, N.Y. - Bob Wols says he was scared at first, when he heard about two Legionnaires' cases at Seneca Towers. The respiratory illness is caused by bacteria that can grow in stagnant water.
Residents have been told not to take hot showers until further notice. That's because they can get the bacteria by breathing in the mist from the showerhead. They are being told it is safe to drink the water and take baths. The illness is not spread from person to person and you have to breathe in contaminated water to get sick.
The Health Department had three meetings to address residents' concerns. Bob Wols says he felt better after hearing from health experts and knowing he was not at high risk of getting sick.
The illness can cause mild-flu symptoms in some people, but for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, it can cause pnemonia, and even death.
Rochester Management, which runs Seneca Towers, was advised by the Health Department to bring in engineers to sanitize the water.
They are heating it to 150 degrees and chlorinating it to kill the bacteria.
The Health Department took new water tests to determine if it is safe. Those results could be back as early as Friday.
The hot water restriction continues until further notice.
Some residents are going to other facilities to shower. Others like Bob Wols are taking baths or lukewarm showers.