Fatal case of Legionnaires’ reported in Vernon Hills senior home; 2 others infected

The state health department and Brookdale staff are working to pinpoint the disease’s source and other residents who might be infected, the health department said.

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Five cases of Legionnaires’ have been reported at Brookdale Senior Living, 145 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Vernon Hills.

Three cases of Legionnaires’ have been reported at Brookdale Senior Living, 145 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Vernon Hills.

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Public health officials are investigating three cases of Legionnaires’ disease that left one person dead at a senior living center in north suburban Vernon Hills.

The cases of the severe respiratory disease at Brookdale Senior Living, 145 N. Milwaukee Ave., were first reported to health officials Monday, the Lake County Health Department said in a statement Wednesday.

Officials did not provide details about the person who died.

The state health department and Brookdale staff are working to pinpoint the disease’s source and other residents who might be infected, the health department said.

“Our greatest concern is the health of the residents of our community, so we have responded quickly and proactively to this situation,” Brookdale Senior Living spokeswoman Heather Hunter said in an email.

She said Brookdale is working with the health departments and a national water treatment company.

“At this time, no one knows the source of the bacteria; however, we felt it necessary to take a proactive approach to help stop any spread of this bacteria,” Hunter said.

Legionella bacteria are transmitted through water droplets from showers or fountains. Most healthy people are not infected after being exposed to the bacteria.

Hunter said Brookdale is taking precautions against Legionella by turning off fountains, closing the pool and spa, flushing water lines, cleaning shower heads and adding filters.

Legionnaires’ can’t be spread from person-to-person, but can be deadly.

In late January, two fatal cases of Legionnaires’ at a Carol Stream retirement community were reported by health officials.

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