After claiming 12 lives in New York City, Legionnaires’s disease is affecting Illinois Veteran homes. The disease outbreak in San Quentin State Prison in California has left six confirmed cases, and the nationwide outbreak led to the death of 20 people.
The first outbreak was reported in Illinois in August, but the source remains unknown. Dr. Nirav Shah, Illinois’ public health director said that the disease has taken seven lives in the veteran home. More deaths are predicted as the incubation period for the Legionnaires’ disease can be up in two weeks. California state officials said 95 other inmates are under observation at San Quentin’s medical unit due to respiratory disease. Currently, they haven’t been diagnosed with the illness.
“We are going with an abundance of caution,” said Ryan Yantis, a Veteran Affairs spokesman.
Yantis said those who exhibit symptoms such as breathing difficulties, coughing, fever and muscle aches are monitored closely, and the infected ones are treated with antibiotics. CDS’s Sept. 4 weekly report reported that there were 404 cases of Legionnaires and a related disease known as Pontiac Fever, ending Aug. 29.
A CDC spokesman said that there were twice as many cases than anticipated in the same four-week period in the last five years. Dr. Steven Tharratt, director of health care operations for the California Department of Corrections and Operations said that they have got the transmission-controlled.
Legionnaires’ disease was first reported at an American Legion Convention in Philadelphia in 1976. Legionella, a naturally occurring waterborne disease, can infect a person who inhales water droplets or mist infected by it. Though the bacteria are more common in summer as it can thrive in warm water, it can take place anytime. Illinois health officials have urged elderly, sick, and people with compromised immune systems, to not visit the home in Quincy. Residents are free to leave home, and access is not restricted.