Legionnaires' disease is back in Adams County, 2 residents at IL Vets Home diagnosed
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) announced on Tuesday that two residents at the Quincy Veterans' Home have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.
"We are very concerned about our residents and staff the Quincy Veterans’ Home and we are continuing to implement every necessary precaution to ensure the health and safety of all. That is our top priority," IDVA Director Erica Jeffries said. "As an additional precaution, we are halting all new admissions to the home."
The Center for Disease Control does not know the source of this outbreak.
This outbreak comes shortly after the installation of a brand new water treatment facility and renovations.
Renovation included construction of a water treatment plant capable of providing higher quality water for the home’s sensitive population.
"We were informed that we actually had one case late last week and then we had another case on Monday morning. So at that point, we are also doing further testing to assure that this is an accurate testing because the first testing basically is just a preliminary that says yes it's present, but to find out if it's actually active we're going to be doing further testing. So at this point, we're still waiting on the lab results to come back from those,” said Cathy Houston, Interim Administrator at the Illinois Veteran’s Home.
While veteran home staff find this outbreak concerning, they’re not alarmed since all other previous water testing results have come back with excellent results.
Dave Mac Donna, Public Information Officer with the IDVA, tells KHQA, "They are constantly testing the water in the new water treatment plant. Water is being boiled to 150 degrees. For cold water, two different types of chemicals are being added. Water is flushed two times a day. Currently the CDC can not identify the source of this outbreak."
They plan to work closely with the state health department and CDC to locate the source and determine if it poses an active threat.
"Our utmost responsibility right now is to take care of our residents and keep them calm and assured, and our staff. So that's what we do day to day. This is their home and we want to make them feel safe here. I think they're very safe here,” added Houston.
The confirmed cases come from two different buildings at the facility.
Adams County Health Department says there are no other confirmed Legionnaire cases outside the veteran’s home.
Illinois Veterans Home says it will work to keep its residents and the public updated as test results return.