Quincy woman recovering from Legionnaires' Disease speaks to WGE - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy woman recovering from Legionnaires' Disease speaks to WGEM

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Zola Jackson is recovering from Legionnaires' Disease at her home. She spoke with WGEM's Gene Kennedy Friday night. Zola Jackson is recovering from Legionnaires' Disease at her home. She spoke with WGEM's Gene Kennedy Friday night.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

The Adams County Health Department is investigating a confirmed case of Legionnaires' Disease that is possibly linked to the Illinois Veterans' Home.

Zola Jackson says starting Monday April 18th she suffered terrible stomach pains that led her to Blessing Hospital, where tests later confirmed she had Legionnaires' Disease.

"I was really bad. I was really, really bad. (I) did some blood work and said get to the doctor right away," Jackson said.

She ended up in the E-R and tests later confirmed she had Legionnaires' Disease.

"The doctor told me what they were treating me for, and they said they didn't want it to go to pneumonia because the Legionnaires' pneumonia isn't like your common pneumonia and if you go into that you just don't survive it," Jackson said.

Zola is 78 years-old. Legionnaires' Disease can be fatal for the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. Legionella is a water-bourne bacteria that spreads when you inhale it, like a mist. Zola is convinced she contracted the bacteria in her home. 

"A humidifier here at the house is where I got it from," she said,

Her husband says when he opened the appliance he found, "scummy water and it had a few black spots." 

However, since Zola volunteers weekly making popcorn at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, where there was a Legionnaires' outbreak last summer, that raised concerns for health officials.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday this case came from one of two locations, either the person's home or the Quincy vets home.
Adams County health officials can't pinpoint the source but think it's an isolated case.

"We do not believe there's any heightened risk around this," said Public Health Administrator Jerrod Welch. "We feel it's in the best in our community's interest to just simply release the fact that this has simply occured."   

The health department informed the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. It is continuing to investigate the case, but has not been able to figure out how the person became exposed to the legionella bacteria.

"The Illinois Veteran’s Home has implemented an ongoing water management and mitigation plan as a result of the outbreak occurring in 2015," Welch stated in a press release. "The Adams County Health Department continues to support State partners in monitoring for any additional cases of legionellosis that may indicate a heightened level of risk to individuals at IVH or in the community."

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