IDPH, IDVA announce seven deaths at Illinois Veterans' home in Quincy

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QUINCY - The Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs have announced the deaths of seven Illinois Veterans' Home residents who had been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

IDPH officials say the seven individuals all had underlying medical conditions prior to having Legionnaires', and that they were among 39 individuals who have been diagnosed with the disease to date.  IDPH spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the seven deaths occurred between August 28 and September 1.  Officials also say other residents have been tested for the disease, and test results are pending.

IDVA Director Erica Jeffries says officials remain "vigilant in monitoring" residents for signs of the disease.  However, IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., says the department "expects to see additional cases" as the incubation period for Legionnaires' disease can be up to two weeks.  Additionally, Shah says that there is the possibility for more deaths, and that "patients with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of more severe illness."

Officials from both departments are working with the Adams County Health Department to attempt to prevent more individuals from being infected.  Health officials add that Legionnaires' disease cannot be transmitted from person-to-person.

For more information about Legionnaires' disease, visit http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/legionellosis.

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