February 25, 2020

Another Death from Legionnaires’ Disease in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued a news release stating that another person has died from Legionnaires’ Disease in Quincy. Four new cases of the illness have also been reported. These cases are not related to the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak at the Quincy Veterans’ Home, according to public officials.

Legionella bacteria iStockphotoThe Adams County Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch said in a statement, “as part of our investigation of the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans’ Home-Quincy, we asked our local health care providers to help us with surveillance of the disease and test individuals in the community who have symptoms related to Legionnaires’ Disease. We have thoroughly investigated each confirmed case for a connection with the outbreak, as well as any possible connection to one another. At this time, we have found no connections.”

As of Wednesday, September 2, 2015, there are 45 people sick with Legionnaires’ Disease at the Veterans’ Home. A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is at that facility to try to uncover the source of the pathogenic bacteria.

Because Legionnaires’ Disease has the same symptoms as pneumonia, tests for the bacteria are not routinely done. Legionnaires’ Disease is not transmitted person-to-person. The increase in testing because of the Veterans’ Home outbreak uncovered the latest death and new cases.

Public health officials do not think there is an increased risk of Legionnaires’ Disease in Quincy. They are focusing on the outbreak at the Illinois Veterans’ Home at this time.

Legionella bacteria grow in warm water, especially in plumbing systems and cooling towers of large buildings. Fountains and broken air conditions are other sources.

The symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease include cough, high fever, and chills, similar to pneumonia. The cough may produce mucus or blood. If you live in Quincy and have experienced these symptoms, please see your doctor. Officials are advising that elderly people and those with chronic lung illnesses and compromised immune systems avoid the Veterans’ Home until the problem is resolved.

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