Quincy Veterans’ Home Update

Quincy, IL – The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today issued the following update regarding their ongoing efforts at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy (IVHQ). The Departments continue to collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the Adams County Health Department to locate potential sources of Legionella bacteria and to mitigate the risk of exposure at IVHQ.
Public health officials have identified a recent case of Legionnaires’ disease in a City of Quincy resident who has had no interaction with IVHQ. An IVHQ resident has also been confirmed to have Legionnaires’ disease and is recovering. This resident spent considerable time in the community and may have been exposed to the bacteria in a location outside of the Home. It is not uncommon for Legionella to be present in various water sources and the source of the infection could be located outside of IVHQ. As a result, the ultimate source of the recent cases may never be determined. Adams County and IDPH continue to investigate potential sources including those not on property controlled by IDVA.
Since the most recent report of Legionnaires’ disease cases at IVHQ were announced in July, 27 veterans have been tested – with 23 negative results and four positive results. The initial three residents who tested positive have recovered, while the resident with the most recent case is recovering as well. These results compare to 54 confirmed cases in 2015. Since 2010, IDPH is reporting there have been 12 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Adams County not associated with IVHQ.
The facility recently completed an extensive renovation of its plumbing systems in response to the 2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. Renovation included construction of a water treatment plant capable of providing higher quality water for the home’s sensitive population. IDVA will continue implementing procedures to test for and flush any harmful bacteria from the plumbing system and is maintaining hot water temperatures at 150°F.