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Staff on edge at Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy after new case of Legionnaires’ Disease

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The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating a single new case of Legionnaires' Disease.

Tuesday, staff is revealing how policies helped them respond to this case they say: quickly and efficiently.

They said for now, no other resident has been infected at the vets home but they say they will continue to monitor for Legionnaire's Disease.

Staff at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy is on edge after a new confirmed case of Legionnaires' Disease.

"I think that because we are put in the spotlight, that's why we always do take over precaution a lot," said adjutant Dawn Whitcomb.

Whitcomb said the man who contracted the disease lives at Fifer Infirmary. She said the water at the home gets tested every day.

"Different buildings get tested at different times. Flushing occurs twice a day here at the home. We also do thermal meaning that we heat the water to a certain temperature and bring it back down to ensure that it's safe for our residents and our staff," said Whitcomb.

Meanwhile, the state has committed $230 million to renovate the entire home. That includes new systems that officials say should dramatically reduce the possibility someone contracts Legionnaires' Disease.

"The money that's been allocated to us from the government will help with a new water loop. We'll be putting in a new water loop," said Whitcomb.

Officials said the man who contracted Legionnaires' is recovering after being diagnosed last week. He and other respiratory patients are being monitored closely.

"We're doing what we call vital signs every two hours to make sure we are keeping an eye on those residents," said Whitcomb.

It's the first confirmed case at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy since 2018. State officials said Illinois Department of Public Health is working with the facility at the home to collect information and further investigate this most recent case.

The Legionnaires' outbreak started in 2015 when 12 residents died and 56 others were sickened. State officials unveiled a new $5 million dollar water treatment plant at the home in 2016. There have been cases every year since 2015. Officials revealed plans for a new $230 million dollar facility last year.

Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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