Legionnaires' cases up to 29, four deaths now confirmed - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Legionnaires' cases up to 29, four deaths now confirmed

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The number of those killed by Legionnaires' disease continues to rise at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. The number of those killed by Legionnaires' disease continues to rise at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

A total of four residents at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy have died due to the Legionnaires' disease outbreak, according to Adams County Health Department.

Director of Clinical and Environmental Services Shay Drummond said in addition to the increase in deaths, the number of ill residents has risen to 29.

The outbreak at the veterans home was first announced last week, and the staff at the vets home has been working with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Blessing Hospital, taking care to make sure the bacteria doesn't spread. 

"We're taking every precaution possible, so all of our residents are drinking bottled water right now, we are using sponge baths so we do not have the residents in aerosolized water, we are taking all of the aerolizers off of our shower heads." Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Erica Jeffries said.

Health officials are waiting for the results of environmental sampling done last week to determine the source point of the Legionella bacteria. They have tested all surface waters, including the pond on the property. 

"The reason why it's happening here and why we have so many has not been determined. We have not found the source at this time," Jeffries said.

Meanwhile, Drummond says it is possible for more cases to be reported.

"It is very likely, it can take anywhere from two to 10 days for symptoms to develop," Drummond said.

The health department says the outbreak is believed to be contained to the veterans home campus. Drummond says it's not necessary for residents to move out and there are no restrictions on visitors, but visitors over the age of 50 with respiratory issues should consider postponing their visit.

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