Legionnaires’ disease hits Veterans Home in Quincy again
Two new cases of Legionnaires’ disease were discovered at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy this past week. A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs would not disclose the condition of the two residents affected, but noted there have been no deaths.
Last year, Legionnaires’ disease led to 53 illnesses and 12 deaths at the same facility. The Centers for Disease Control announced the bacteria that causes a severe form of pneumonia was most likely spread by the home’s aging water system, which is 129 years old. This week, while touring the home to review the newly installed $5 million water treatment plant and delivery system, Gov. Rauner noted that “we cannot let it happen again.”
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, legionellosis is a bacterial disease of the lungs caused by Legionella pneumophila. The disease can range from a mild respiratory illness to severe pneumonia and death. The most common form of legionellosis is known as "Legionnaires' disease," named after an outbreak in 1976 when many people who attended an American Legion conference in Philadelphia became ill.