HAMILTON (Mercer) — Following a cluster of four cases in the summer of 2020, five more reported cases of Legionnaires' disease in this township in the past year, including four since May, have local and state health officials warning residents and multi-unit buliding owners alike about the safety of their water supply.

Three of the nine cases proved fatal, according to a release from the township, the latest being an elderly person who died in August.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Trenton Water Works are currently monitoring Hamilton Township for legionella bacteria, according to the release, and have identified its presence in homes and businesses.

Officials said the bacteria can be carried into homes by treated drinking water, and offered tips both for single-family homes and multiple-unit housing.

Get our free mobile app

However, state epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan was quoted in the release as saying the water is safe to drink.

Legionnaire's disease, according to Hamilton officials, typically does not spread from person to person but can mimic some of the symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches.

Similar to COVID, age and history of immune or respiratory issues are increased risk factors for serious illness.

Legionnaire's can be treated with antibiotics, so Hamilton Township is urging anyone who believes they may have been exposed to seek medical attention.

Look inside The Avenue at American Dream

The American Dream mega mall in the Meadowlands is opening a deluxe boutique wing that promises to be a must-see experience, and not just for the luxury designer brands.

7 reasons why you need to kill the spotted lanternflies infesting NJ

Incredible, heartbreaking images of Ida's damage in New Jersey

In just a few hours the remnants from Ida spawned three tornadoes, dropped between 8 and 10 inches of rain, left over two dozen people dead and plunged thousands into darkness.

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM