IDPH, IDVA Report Case of Legionnaire’s At Quincy Veterans’ Home

By Benjamin Cox on April 22, 2023 at 7:05pm

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs jointly reported a single new case of Legionnaire’s Disease at the Quincy Veterans’ Home on Friday.

According to a press release, both agencies’ directives governing the home’s clinical and environmental protocols were immediately deployed, including enhanced resident monitoring and testing of all water sources. The report says this is an isolated case and out of an abundance of caution, the residents in the building will be monitored closely for at least the next two weeks. The confirmed resident is said to have experienced very mild symptoms and is recovering well.

Legionellosis or Legionnaire’s Disease is not contagious, meaning it is not spread from person-to-person. Disease transmission primarily occurs through inhaling Legionella-contaminated, aerosolized water.

The press release says that there have been no current tests to suggest the presence of Legionella in the Home’s water system. An IDPH environmental health team deployed to Quincy Friday morning and is currently on-site reviewing water screening logs, previous water testing, and current status of the water system. Additionally, IDPH says that it is testing the water system at a community provider in the local area where the resident was recently treated.

Residents, family members, and powers of attorney are being notified of the single confirmed case.

This is not the home’s first interaction with the disease. Between 2015-2018, legionellosis killed 13 people and sickened at least 61 residents and staff at the Home. In April 2020, the State of Illinois agreed to nearly $6.4 million in settlements with families who lost loved ones during the outbreak in that time frame, according to Illinois-NPR. A years-long WBEZ investigation chronicled the state’s mishandling of the outbreak, prompting changes to state law, public investigations, and an ongoing criminal probe. The reporting also triggered new facilities to be built at the Home, which alleged too long of a wait on deferred maintenance and negligence during the Rauner administration.