Unfortunately, there have been two more reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Quincey’s Illinois Veterans Home. The Illinois Department of Public Health made this alarming announcement on Monday. Fortunately, the two residents who have Legionnaire’s disease are doing okay.
An investigation is now being carried out to find out why residents at Illinois Veterans Home are contracting this disease. This facility has seen outbreaks of Legionnaires’ since 2015. In 2015, twelve residents died of the disease while dozens more only suffered from it. In 2016, five people became sick. In 2017, six people in the facility fell ill to the disease—including one person who died from it.
After these recent two cases, the engineering staff in the facility took water samples, removed faucets and collected mixing valves in an attempt to test for Legionella bacteria.
With the goal of preventing more cases of Legionnaires’ in mind, the staff in the facility flushed fixtures and raised water temperatures.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by inhaling bacteria that thrives in warm water. It is a serious type of pneumonia. Experts suggest that the residents could have caught Legionnaires’ through the inhalation of water from sources such as sinks and showers.
Illinois Veterans Home is a 132 year old building with galvanized pipes. Some of the pipes are more than 100 years old. These pipes might be where the Legionella bacteria is growing.
Governor Bruce Raunor has declared that there are now plans to make major improvements to the plumbing of the facility. He lived in the facility for a week. Also, U.S. Senator Dick Durban, a Democrat, has promised to call on the Veterans’ Administration for help funding the project. In the past, Durban entertained the idea of closing the facility.
After about two years of Legionnaires’ cases, it’s high time that improvements should be made to the facility!