All Veterans' Home residents return from hospital after Legionna - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

All Veterans' Home residents return from hospital after Legionnaires' outbreak

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Officials with the vets' home say they plan to flush the entire water system before the end of the week, as one of the many precautions being taken to stop the spread. Officials with the vets' home say they plan to flush the entire water system before the end of the week, as one of the many precautions being taken to stop the spread.

The number of Legionnaires' cases at the Illinois Veterans' Home now stands at 52, up two from Monday.

While things are getting back to normal, there's still one major thing the campus plans to do before giving the all-clear. The fountains around campus are still shut off, along with the water across campus. Officials plan to flush the entire system before the end of the week, as one of the many precautions being taken to stop the spread. 

Resident Russell Walton was at Blessing Hospital for three days while he was being treated for Legionnaires' disease last week. He's one of many residents that are now back at the home, a good sign that things are getting back to normal.

"As of today, there are no hospitalized patients with the Legionnella at Blessing Hospital," said Shay Drummond with the Adams County Health Department.

Drummond says while two more cases of Legionnaires' disease were confirmed Tuesday, there have been no new confirmed cases outside of the campus.

Leroy Jarvis lives at the Vets' Home, but didn't get sick. He says staff are doing a good job protecting the patients.

"I use the bottled water, but the only thing I got was a shower last Friday," he said. "Now, you don't get any. They're getting ready to change the water."

The veterans home has been using bottled water for drinking and bathing since the outbreak started, even getting donations from local organizations like the Elks Club. Nurses say they're using bath kits in the meantime, while crews are still working to replace shower heads in all of the units.

The health department says we're not out of the woods just yet. Because the incubation period for Legionnella is up to 10 days, it is still possible they could see new cases in the coming days. 

"The test results do take two to three days to get results, so we do have a bit of a lag time," Drummond said.

The health department says the CDC is using this outbreak as a learning lesson and gathering as much information as they can, so they can create plans to more quickly prevent situations like this in the future.

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