Feb 18, 2020

Chicago Suburb Senior Living Center Faces Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease occurred at Vernon Hills, Illinois, senior living center 


Brookdale Senior Living in Vernon Hills, Illinois, has shut off its water features and added point-of-use filters after a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the facility.

The total cases reported at the Vernon Hills senior center is five since Feb. 5, 2020, reported the Chicago Tribune. One person at the facility died following an outbreak of the disease.

In a statement to Pioneer Press, Brookdale Senior Living said the business is following protocols and recommendations from county and state officials.

According to the Chicago Tribune, measures to mitigate the issue include; shutting off all water features at the Vernon Hills facility; cleaning shower heads; and adding the water filters. 

The senior living home is also working with officials at the the Lake County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health as they investigate the source of the outbreak.

County officials started investigating after the outbreak was first reported on Feb. 3, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Investigators with both the county and state health department took water samples in the Brookdale facility and conducted swab tests in places such as the pools and bathroom sinks. Pipes and other parts of the water distribution system at the facility are being investigated as well.

County officials currently are awaiting various test results that can help them better determine the exact source, according to Mike Adam, deputy director of environmental health for the Lake County Health Department.

According to the CDC, most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not get sick. Included in the list of people at increased risk of getting sick, however, are people 50 years or older.

“Did everybody go to the swimming pool at the same time or eat in the same area?” said Adam regarding the similarities investigators are looking for.

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