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2 more at veterans home sickened by Legionnaires’

State Journal Register

Tuesday, February 13, 2018  |  Article  |  Staff report

Veterans (95)

Two more residents at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy have contracted Legionnaires’ disease, the state Department of Public Health confirmed Monday night.

In an email statement, spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said that the cases had been confirmed by laboratory testing. She said that both residents remained at the home and were “doing well.”

The statement did not give any details about the residents or say when the cases had been confirmed.

The Quincy home has come under intense scrutiny since the disease has contributed to the deaths of 13 residents since 2015 and sickened dozens more residents and staff.

Legionnaires’ is a severe form of pneumonia caused by inhaling affected water vapor.

In January, Gov. Bruce Rauner checked himself into the home and stayed for a week in an attempt to demonstrate his confidence in the safety of the home. When he left, he pledged the state would replace the plumbing at the home to advance his goal of “zero risk” of Legionnaires’ at the home.

The Department of Public Health said Monday night that staff had removed faucets from the sickened residents’ rooms and were testing to find where the bacteria had come from.

The home’s staff also was increasing water temperatures and flushing systems, the statement said. It said the home has added chlorine treatments, and 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.