Adams County Coroner James Keller believes a resident at Sunset Home in Quincy died Tuesday as a result of Legionnaires' disease.
Keller said the elderly man's death is the only known Legionnaires' disease-related death outside of the Illinois Veterans Home at this time. He said the reports he received regarding the Sunset Home resident stated the man recently tested positive for Legionnaires' disease.
Sunset Home officials say the person may have died of something else.
"It’s unfortunate the Adams County Coroner made a premature and a clinically unsubstantiated statement," Administrator Dawn St. Clair said. "It has not been proven where this individual actually contracted the Legionnaires’ disease. We have no way of confirming the individual’s death was caused by Legionnaires’ as there are many underlying medical conditions, which could be a factor.”
Following the outbreak at the Veterans' Home, Adams County Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch said his staff asked all local care facilities to pay closer attention to ill patients.
"When we look, we find," Welch said. "The Sunset Home case is not linked to the outbreak. The community should not be alarmed."
Welch added that Adams County has had confirmed Legionnaires' disease cases each of the past three years. None were part of an outbreak. Welch said Illinois typically sees around 200 cases a year.
“We are taking all precautionary measures and following recommendations that are above and beyond our normal protocols," St.-Clair Davis said. “Our utmost concern is for the health and safety for our residents, families and staff.”
"We, along with the other long-term care communities, are working with the Adams County Health Department and (the Illinois Department of Public Health)," St. Clair-Davis said. "They're keeping us updated as things develop."
St. Clair-Davis said Sunset Home is working specifically with IDPH's Division of Environmental Health.
"We've taken some precautionary recommendations that are above and beyond our normal protocols," St. Clair-Davis said.
The health department announced Wednesday the number of cases at the Veterans' Home rose to 45 Wednesday, but the death toll stayed at seven.