Legionnaires' disease kills 7 in Illinois veterans' home

Thirty-nine residents of the Illinois Veterans' Home-Quincy have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease as of Sept. 1, and seven of those people have died, according to the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The IDPH reached out to the CDC Aug. 30 for help with the outbreak. Three CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers and one environmental health specialists are now at the home, working with the IDVA and the IDPH to investigate the outbreak.

"We remain vigilant in monitoring our residents and we continue to follow the guidance of our interagency partners to implement remediation efforts across our home," said IDVA Director Erica Jeffries. "The safety and quality of care for our residents and staff are our primary concerns."

Officials are still searching for the source of the Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires' disease.

The Illinois Veterans' Home-Quincy is not the only organization that has experienced a Legionnaires' disease outbreak recently. New York City saw a large outbreak of the illness tied to water in cooling towers, and a VA hospital in Phoenix discovered Legionella bacteria in its water system in late August.

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