Senator McCann addresses Legionnaire’s outbreak, calls on Director of IDPH to resign

By Blake Schnitker on March 6 at 9:50am

A Senator from west central Illinois is speaking out about the ongoing Legionnaires problem at the state’s veterans’ home in Quincy.

A joint hearing was held in Chicago yesterday by the Illinois Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in which Senator Sam McCann of Plainview attended. Following yesterday’s joint hearing, McCann released a statement in regards to the Legionnaire’s outbreak at the Quincy veterans’ home, in which he calls for the resignation of the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. Nirav Shah.

In his statement, McCann says, “Today, we were informed the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs would have a plan for alleviating the Legionella issues at the Quincy Veterans Home presented no later than March 31, 2018.” He goes on to say that while that news is promising, “it does not pardon the failure of leadership that I believe emanated from the Illinois Department of Public Health.”

McCann says that the residents living at the Quincy veterans’ home, where 13 people have died from Legionnaire’s since 2015, deserve better. Which is why he is, “re-iterating (his) call for Dr. (Nirav) Shah to resign immediately.” Senator McCann wraps up his statement by saying that Illinois’ brave veterans deserve the best possible care, and should not have their health put at risk any further.

While the Legionnaire’s problem has seen 13 deaths at the Quincy home since 2015, four additional cases of Legionnaires were uncovered just last month. Other state facilities, such as the state capital complex and the mental health facility in Chester have also reported cases of either Legionnaires Diseases, or the presence of Legionella, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires Disease.