NEW YORK — The New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is reporting that the number of cases of pneumonia in New York City is at an all-time high, surpassing 1,400.
The department said there were 1,081 cases of confirmed pneumonia in the city of Manhattan, which is located about 25 miles south of Manhattan.
As of Monday, there are now at least 9,974 cases, according to the department.
The department says the increase is a result of the heat and humidity and the continued use of sandals that are not properly cared for.
“There has been a significant increase in the number and number of infections,” said Dr. Michael Fassett, the DHMH’s deputy commissioner for infectious diseases.
“The number of respiratory illnesses has been increasing, too.”
Fassett said the department is working closely with the NYPD to track down and educate the public on how to avoid getting sandals and other outdoor gear into the hands of others.
There is no indication that anyone has died from the pneumonia.
Fasset said the state is urging people to wash and disinfect their feet and use clean water and hygiene products.
“We’re not asking anyone to go outside in their sandals,” Fasset told reporters on Monday.
“We’re asking people to use a soap and water.
We’re also asking them to be responsible with their own personal hygiene and wear clean clothes.”
The department has also added sandals to its outdoor wear list, including sandals with no heels.
In New York, people can purchase sandals for $18.
The sandals can be purchased at any department store, online or at the store.