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After more than 100 days, another case of Legionnaires' disease reported at North Portland affordable senior apartment complex

The Multnomah County Health Department sent residents a letter strongly encouraging them to permanently relocate. But many tell KGW News that's just not possible.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County Health officials informed the residents of an affordable senior apartment building in North Portland of yet another case of Legionnaires' disease at the complex. 

The Health Department confirmed a Rosemont Court resident was sick on Sept. 30. This marks the the 14th case of the disease in the building since January 2021. 

Until now, the last time a resident was sick with Legionnaires' disease was June 17, according to the notice sent to residents by the county. 

Health officials, along with the management company, worried that bacteria that causes the disease may still be in Rosemont's water, urged residents to permanently relocate.

Marilyn Hasan has lived at Rosemont Court for 13 years. She said, it's not just an apartment building to her, it's a place she calls home. 

"This is my neighborhood. This is my bus stop. I know my neighbors," she said. 

She couldn't help but get emotional after she and the 80 other residents at Rosemont Court received the news about another Legionnaires' case, with the strong suggestion to find another place to live. 

"I feel safe here," she said, "And to tell me that, 'we strongly encourage you to move,' that's almost like telling me to get my behind out."

Several residents, even some who say they've been sick with the disease this year, told KGW News they don't plan to leave or find a new place because they can't afford to do so.

"I have to stay here and fight it out," said Lawrence Parker. "I just hope they hurry up and figure out what’s going on."

"I want to stay here actually. The community is great," said John Ghormley, "Other places that we’ve been told about that we could move to, their rent prices are sky high. It would not make any sense for me fiscally, for me or I suspect for anybody else here, it would not make sense fiscally to move to those places."

"There’s somebody that comes out every Wednesday, but the places that they are offering [us], they are dumps," said Juanita Watson. 

"We are looking. We are all looking. The prices are too high, we need help," Hasan said.

Multnomah County health officials have been working with Rosemont Court since January to destroy any potential bacteria. They've installed a disinfection system, and added filters on faucets. Both the county and property management pledged to continue working to make sure the water in the building is as safe as possible.