Two more Legionnaires' cases confirmed at Quincy veterans' home - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Two more Legionnaires' cases confirmed at Quincy veterans' home

The main entrance at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy The main entrance at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports two laboratory-confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease among residents at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy.

In a written statement, IDPH said both residents affected at the home are doing well and after learning about the cases, engineering staff at the vets' home immediately removed faucets from the residents' rooms and collected water samples and mixing valves to analyze for the presence of Legionnella bacteria.

The state health department also said that vets' home staff increased water temperatures and flushed fixtures to further protect residents.

Melaney Arnold with the Illinois Department of Public Health said the two patients started showing symptoms on February 8th and tests were sent to Blessing Hospital. Arnold said those tests came back negative, but since Blessing's testing is new, the tests were sent to another lab which does a different type of testing. The results of those tests came back positive on February 12th.  

Arnold said despite finding more cases in the winter, when it's hardest for legionnella bacteria to grow, they are working to find a source.

"We are testing for this regularly," Arnold said. "When you go looking for it, chances are you are going to find it."

An investigation is now underway to identify where the residents may have acquired the bacteria, according to IDPH.

Legionnaires' disease has killed 13 residents at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy since 2015. 

Illinois State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) said he was "outraged" at the news of two more confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease at the veterans home.

"While the governor continues to live in a fantasy world, creating bureaucratic task forces and dodging requests for information, two more of our nation's heroes have tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease," Cullerton said. "Gov. Bruce Rauner has failed our veterans once again. Our nation's heroes need a solution now. They cannot afford to wait another three years for the governor to finally do his job."

Rauner's office responded to the new cases Tuesday morning. Rachel Bold, Rauner's Press Secretary released the following statement.

Governor Rauner continues to work with IDPH Director Nirav Shah, IDVA Director Erica Jeffries, the CDC and the Adams County Health Department to provide for the health and safety of the skilled nursing home’s residents and staff. Engineering staff at the home acted quickly, immediately implementing prescribed contingency responses -- completing thermal eradication and other measures to protect residents and staff. Our goal must be to put politics aside and work together to keep our veterans safe and healthy.

Click here to read extensive coverage of the Legionnaires' cases at the vets' home.

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