26 de set. de 2014

The New York Times - News

In the era of meta media coverage, it wasn’t surprising when problems this week with the filtered water system at The Times’s Manhattan headquarters — problems linked to three employees’ brief illnesses — earned the notice of news sites like Gawker andDaily Intelligencer.
“Stay safe, Timespeople,” Gawker said.
Thanks, Gawker, but we’re a pretty tough bunch. We survived anthrax scares in 2001 and 2008, and enough building climbers to qualify us for a cameo role in “Beginning of the End.”
Rooftop ventilating equipment at The Times's former headquarters, 229 West 43rd Street, shown in 2007. The source of the Legionnaires' disease outbreak in 1985 was not pinpointed.Credit David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
But in 1985, The Times faced a truly alarming threat to its collective health: 29 cases of an acute respiratory illness something like pneumonia, most in the last two weeks of June. The company turned for help to the New York City Department of Health.
City epidemiologists surveyed the building, then at 229 West 43rd Street, interviewed stricken employees and, most importantly, analyzed blood samples. At the end of July, Dr. David J. Sencer, the city health commissioner, delivered the sobering news that “6 of 14 blood tests have shown evidence of past infection with Legionella pneumophila.”
The Times, in other words, had come down with Legionnaires’ disease.
Dr. David J. Sencer, the New York City health commissioner, said on July 29, 1985, that six blood tests of Times employees indicated Legionnaires' disease.Credit
The good news was that all the affected employees had recovered by then, and no new cases had been reported since early July. “The illness is caused by a bacteria found in standing water or soil,” the company’s medical director, Dr. Howard R. Brown, told the staff in a memo. “The bacteria in some way gets into a ventilation system.” The Times changed all of its fan-room filters.
Across the bottom of Dr. Sencer’s letter, on official stationery, was the repeated message, “Save water, Save water, Save water.”
And that’s just what we’ve been doing this week.

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