The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is investigating new cases of Legionnaires' disease. One outbreak in Champaign County may be tied to the First Christian Church where several victims recently attended a wedding. Another outbreak occurred at the Embassy Suites in Chicago. These outbreaks are a serious health matter and anyone exposed needs to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Caught early enough, the disease can be treated with antibiotics.
Legionnaires' disease is a deadly condition that is often caused by improper maintenance of water or air conditioning systems. The disease spreads when victims inhale water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Hotels and apartment buildings are common sites for these outbreaks, as they contain hot tubs, spa pools, shower heads, indoor fountains, irrigation systems and other sites where water can stagnate and become contaminated. When proper prevention standards are followed, the Legionella bacteria cannot thrive. Failure to follow these standards is a sign of negligence by property owners and managers.