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New Legionnaires' Case Confirmed at State Facility in Illinois

One patient at the Chester Mental Health Center in Chester, Illinois has now tested positive for Legionnaires' Disease according to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

One patient at the Chester Mental Health Center in Chester, Illinois has now tested positive for Legionnaires' Disease according to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

The Chester Mental Health Center is the only State of Illinois' maximum security forensic mental health facility.

The facility is operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Chester is located on the Mississippi River just over an hour south of St. Louis, Missouri.

Much like Quincy, Chester main source of water is the river.

The Chester Mental Health Center was built in 1910, 24 years after the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a rise in the number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease over the past 15 years, with 6,000 cases reported nationwide in 2015.

Approximately 300 cases are reported each year across Illinois.

Legionnaires’ disease cannot be transmitted person-to-person. Common water sources include decorative fountains, hot tubs, shower areas, and cooling towers.

IDHS is working with the Illinois Department of Public Health to determine the potential source of the bacteria.

Environmental engineers will be on grounds this week to gather data and begin collecting water samples.

IDHS will continue to be vigilant for respiratory illness.

Staff are actively monitoring patients to quickly identify any residents with respiratory illness to make sure they receive immediate medical care.

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