An investigation is underway at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center this week. Health and safety officials obtained information that two patients had fallen victim to Legionnaire's disease due to exposure that may have occurred at Mercy. Legionnaire's disease is the result of exposure to Legionella bacteria which only occurs when a building's water system is kept in substandard conditions.
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.