Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Veteran's Home doesn't keep vo - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Veteran's Home doesn't keep voters from polls

Voters cast ballots at the Illinois Veteran's Home. Voters cast ballots at the Illinois Veteran's Home.

It's a special election in more ways than one at the Illinois Veterans Home. Voters go to the polls while health officials work, trying to flush out any source of a serious Legionnaires' outbreak.

It looks like a normal polling day outside Lippincott Hall at the Illinois Veterans Home.

But, as people cast votes in the 18th District Special Election, health officials tested sinks and faucets looking for legionella bacteria. It's a source of a Legionnaires' outbreak at the home that's left 53 people infected and nine dead in three weeks. It's a long process.

"We re-test the water and if the bacteria is no longer there then hopefully we can go back to normal operations, continuously watching for the bacteria to come back," Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Matthew Westercamp said.

Those tests are carried on while officials watch for more cases.

"This is still in our time period where we have individuals who could potentially show signs and symptoms and those that have shown the signs and symptoms that are ill could potentially have a change in their health status," Adams County Health Department's Shay Drummond said.

But it isn't keeping some voters from polls. Mary Beth Woodward manned voting booths for 30 years. When she came out to vote, she says the outbreak didn't even cross her mind.

"I'm here and that's that," Woodward said. "I wanted to vote."

And for Jeremi Dougherty, who came with four-year-old son Josh in tow? She is not worried, either.

"If it was bad enough, they wouldn't allow people on the grounds," Dougherty said. "They would have moved it somewhere else. It's not spread from person to person. I'm not too concerned."

CDC officials say that process of testing and re-testing water will continue through the week. They have still not announced when results from those tests will be ready. There were no new cases or fatalities relating to the disease reported on Thursday.

Powered by Frankly