A Legionnaires Disease outbreak has sickened at least 23 people at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are working with the Adams County Health Department to identify the source of the outbreak. Test results for other residents are pending.
“Our Quincy Home staff and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) leadership are taking this situation seriously, as we do with any other situation facing our fellow veterans and residents,” said Erica L. Jeffries, Director, IDVA. “The health, safety, and high quality of life for the residents remains our highest priority. We will work with local, regional, and state partners to find and eliminate any potential source locations causing these illnesses, and work with residents, families, and staff to ensure we meet their needs.”
Legionnaires’ Disease causes pneumonia-like symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue, body aches and lung inflammation. It is transmitted when contaminated water mist from showers, faucets, whirlpools, swimming pools, fountains or cooling towers in air conditioning systems is inhaled. It does not spread from person-to person.
“Legionnaires’ disease can be a dangerous illness, especially in older adults who have weaker immune systems,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “While there can be numerous causes of respiratory illness, we will continue to work with our public health partners and local healthcare providers to quickly identify residents who may have Legionnaires’ disease and get them treatment as soon as possible.”