September 2, 2015 update: There are now 8 deaths and 41 others sickened. Of the 49 people with Legionnaires Disease from the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy, 45 of them were residents at the facility.
As of September 1, 2015, there are 7 deaths associated with the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy, according to the latest press release from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). All 7 were residents of the Veterans’ Home. 37 others have been sickened in the outbreak based on completed laboratory tests.
An older person can get sick if he or she breathes in water mist containing even a few cells of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. It is critical to the safety of the residents that the source of the water contamination be found and disinfected, and that measures be put in place to prevent future outbreaks.
“Unfortunately, we expect to see additional cases and possibly additional deaths because the incubation period for Legionnaires’ disease can be up to two weeks, and because patients with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of more severe illness,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.
CDC Now Involved in Investigation
On August 30, 2015, IDPH requested aid from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for epidemiology and environmental health assistance. Yesterday, three CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers and one environmental health specialist arrived at the Illinois Veterans’ Home – Quincy to work with IDVA and IDPH in investigating the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. CDC will also provide laboratory support from its headquarters in Atlanta, GA.
What is Being Done Now to Prevent More Illnesses?
IDVA and IDPH continue to work closely with the Adams County Health Department to identify and mitigate possible sources of the Legionella bacteria. Due to the nature of the bacteria, test results can take up to two weeks. Public and environmental health officials are working closely with home staff to implement control measures at the home in order to prevent additional individuals from being infected.
Can Residents and Their Families Sue the Veterans’ Home?
When we handle Legionnaires’ disease claims for clients, we look at all of the evidence gathered in the investigation to determine what parties to are legally responsible. As a surviving resident or a family member of one of the residents that died in this outbreak, you have the right to know what happened and to get compensation if your loved one died. A lawsuit is most often the only way to get answers and full compensation.
Our experience is that families want justice. Large settlements and verdicts send a message to the wrongdoers and serve to prevent future outbreaks.
Call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or click here now to request a free consultation.