It took the largest and deadliest outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in New York City history to spur officials to target the cooling towers spreading the lethal bacteria.

In the South Bronx, where seven people died and 79 more were sickened in the past three weeks, residents had just one question Tuesday: What took so long?

As the number of confirmed neighborhood cases swelled again, Mayor de Blasio announced new legislation — after decades of neglect — to identify and inspect all buildings fitted with the large units.

How many cooling towers? It’s probably in the tens of thousands. City officials just don’t know.

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