Sep 16, 2019

Retirement Facility Reports 12 Cases of Legionnaires' Disease

The retirement facility is working to identify the source of Legionella bacteria

The retirement facility is working to identify the source of Legionella bacteria

A retirement facility in Batavia, Ill., has reported 12 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease. The facility, Covenant Living, is working with county and state public health agencies and a water management consultant, in response.

"Our community has been working very closely with both Kane County and the Illinois Department of Public Health in taking measures to mitigate any potential Legionella bacteria following the initial reporting," Covenant Living at the Holmstad Executive Director Amanda Gosnell said in a statement, as reported by The Chicago Tribune.

Previously, four cases were confirmed Aug. 30, but two additional cases were reported earlier this week and another case was reported Saturday, Sept. 14. The facility is working on remediation actions. 

According to The Chicago Tribune, the facility is exploring interventions, including adding microbial filters to shower heads, flushing water fixtures biweekly and completing chemical and mechanical cleaning of the cooling tower. The facility also is using hyperchlorination, an aggressive form of potable water disinfection. However, the facility has not determined a source for the Legionella contamination yet.

“We thank all of our residents, families and employees for their patience and understanding as we work through this situation. We await more thorough results from the state testing and pray that a source can, if at all, be identified, either on or off our campus,” Gosnell said.

In addition to the 12 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported at Covenant Living retirement facility, two community-based cases of the disease have been confirmed in Batavia, reported the Kane County Chronicle. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) took samples of potential sources from the retirement facility and in a one-mile radius of the area. IDPH also recommends that individuals with new respiratory symptoms consult a physician immediately. Adults over the age of 50 are at high risk for the water-borne disease.

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