QUINCY – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are reporting a third laboratory-confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy (IVHQ). The positive test result was reported late yesterday. The resident is in stable condition.
IDVA is boosting disinfection levels in its water to further reduce any potential exposure to residents or staff. IDVA is also implementing modified water restrictions across the IVHQ campus, including:
• Installing Laminar flow devices on all sinks. This filter reduces the aeration of the water as it flows from the faucet.
• Limiting bathing to showers only, which are protected with legionella blocking Pall filters.
• Instituting temperature checks every two hours while residents are awake, and full vitals every four hours.
Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have returned to the home in Quincy, at the request of IDPH on Tuesday, February 13th, to review testing protocols for individuals with respiratory illness.
There is an increase in respiratory illness due to other bacteria and viruses this time of year. In addition to infectious disease control and testing protocols, the teams will continue working to trace potential sources of Legionella bacteria and conduct additional environmental health testing.
Legionella bacteria occur naturally in the environment. As such, the source is rarely identified in cases of Legionnaires’ disease. Approximately 300 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported each year across in Illinois.
The IVHQ completed an extensive renovation of its plumbing systems in response to the 2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. Renovations included construction of a water treatment plant capable of providing higher-quality water for the Home’s sensitive population. IDVA continues to test and treat its water for harmful bacteria, including Legionella. Along with additional chlorine treatments, IVHQ maintains hot water at 150 degrees to prevent the growth of Legionella. Hot water is then mixed with cold water to a temperature of 110 degrees, which allows for the maximum control of bacteria while protecting residents from scalding.