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CDC report examines legionaries in Illinois veterans home



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A veterinary home in West Illinois, where several cases of Legionnaire's disease have been reported, has improved its lung monitoring and test protocols, but continues to have problems with the disease, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control

The report on the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy was released Tuesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Herald-Whig reported. Legionnaire's disease caused by water vapor bacteria inhaled in the water has led to 13 deaths in the facility since 2015.

The report was published in February after the investigation of four cases of pneumonia in the establishment. CDC experts tested more than 20 water samples and had a sample test that suggested the presence of Legionella bacteria. They concluded that continued cases of the disease in some of the buildings on campus were likely associated with aging pluming and materials, according to the report.

Veterans' age and underlying medical conditions at the facility make them more susceptible to legionnaires "The disease means there remains some disease risk, even if veterans are moved to another location," the report said.

The CDC recommended that the veterans ministry consult with a geriatric physician on the resettlement of residents. Possible negative consequences for the relocation of elderly patients with weakened immune systems have also been noted.

"We appreciate the continued support and expert advice from the CDC specialists and IDPH," said Elisabeth Pennix, director of the Veterans Affairs Department facility, "has significantly reduced the presence of Legionella in the drinking water system."

The facility has improved lung monitoring and test protocols, but continued effective water management is important to reduce risk, the report said.

Illinois and Quincy will finance the construction of a new Ranney Collector Fountain that reduces organic content in the water, requires less chemical treatment and provides cleaner water. The State Environmental Protection Agency will provide a $ 3 million grant to the project, and the city will also pay $ 3 million.

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Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig, http://www.whig.com [1

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