A Walmart store in Johnsburg, IL may be a source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in McHenry County.  A dozen people are part of the outbreak, one of two separate clusters of the pneumonia illness recently identified by state health officials. The other cluster involves residents of the Warren Barr South Loop nursing home in Chicago.

How is Legionnaires’ Disease Spread?

Legionella Bacteria Test
Legionella Bacteria Test

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. It is not contagious.  People contract Legionnaires’ disease when they inhale water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

Legionella bacteria grows best in warm water. So, common sources of Legionella bacteria include hot tubs, spas, fountains and the hot water tanks, cooling towers and plumbing or air-conditioning systems of large buildings.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include:

    • Cough
    • High fever
    • Headache
    • Muscle aches
    • Shortness of breath.

These symptoms usually develop within two weeks of exposure to bacteria and last about a week. Antibiotics are the primary treatment for Legionnaires’ disease.  Some people are at elevated risk for Legionnaires’ disease. Most notably, those over 50, those with underlying health conditions and those with weakened immune systems.

The Walmart store is cooperating with health officials and has taken some actions to mitigate the problem including turning off its  produce water sprayers.

Earlier this month, health officials identified another cluster of Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the Champaign County. Health officials identified First Christian Church in Champaign as a possible source of that outbreak which sickened six people.

Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyers Can Help

Pritzker Hageman’s  Legionnaires’ disease lawyers have won millions of dollars on behalf of clients sickened and for families who have lost loved ones to this severe form of pneumonia. To contact them, call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free). Or, use this online form to start your free, confidential consultation regarding a Legionnaires disease lawsuit.