Legionnaires’ Disease Update For Quincy Veterans’ Home

QUINCY – One resident at the Illinois Veteran’s Home in Quincy (IVHQ) is recovering after being diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.  The resident was diagnosed while being treated at a local hospital over the weekend and has since been released.  
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and Illinois Department of Public Health continue to collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Adams County Health Department to help ensure the safety and well-being of the residents and staff at the home.
Legionella bacteria occur naturally in the environment.  As such, the source is rarely identified in cases of Legionnaires’ disease.  The CDC reports there has been a rise in the number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease over the past 15 years, with 6,000 cases reported nationwide in 2015. Approximately 300 cases are reported each year across Illinois. 
The IVHQ completed an extensive renovation of its plumbing systems last year 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.