3rd new Legionnaires case confirmed at Illinois veteran home

SHARE 3rd new Legionnaires case confirmed at Illinois veteran home

Gov. Bruce Rauner is shown in July, speaking at the water treatment facility of the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, Ill. Rauner says the state’s doing everything possible to reduce the risk of further contamination by legionella bacteria at the veterans home. | Jake Shane/Quincy Herald-Whig, distributed by the Associated Press

QUINCY — State officials have confirmed a third new case of Legionnaires’ disease at a western Illinois veterans’ home since an outbreak there last year killed 12 people and sickened 54.

The directors of the Illinois departments of veterans’ affairs and public health said in a statement Thursday that three residents have tested positive for the disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, Illinois, including two who state officials announced were sickened last month.

Of two dozen veterans who have been tested since the reports of new cases in July, 21 have come back negative, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah and Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Erica Jeffries said. The Quincy facility houses about 400 residents.

The new cases come less than a month after a nearly $5 million water treatment plant and delivery system was unveiled at the Illinois Veterans Home. The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease grow in warm water and are often present in water supplies. The disease is spread when a person inhales water mist, not via person-to-person contact.

Shah and Jeffries said the state was implementing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce Legionnaires’ disease risks at the facility.

“While these steps have made an impact, we look forward to the CDC’s insight and advice on other scientific measures we can implement to further reduce the risk of infection,” Shah and Jeffries said.

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