Lawmakers Hold Hearing On Legionnaires' Outbreak At Quincy Veterans Home

Frese concerned about follow-up on Legionnaires at Quincy veterans home     by Angela Underwood |  Jan 10 2018

Frese concerned about follow-up on Legionnaires at Quincy veterans home by Angela Underwood | Jan 10 2018

Governor Bruce Rauner just ended a week-long stay at the Illinois Veteran's Home in Quincy, the facility where 13 people have died from Legionnaires' Disease since 2015.

Republican Sen. Sam McCann of Plainview criticized Shah in a legislative hearing Tuesday because he doesn't have Gov. Bruce Rauner's cell phone number.

Finally, Rauner said the Quincy hospital has agreed to return results on Legionnaires' tests within hours, instead of the days the Illinois Department of Public Health previously has had to wait.

Members of the Illinois House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee will meet to figure out who knew what and what can be done about the Legionnaires' outbreak at the Vets' Home.

While the bulk of the illnesses and deaths occurred in 2015 - 47 cases and 12 deaths had been attributed to the disease by late September of that year - the state has struggled to rid the home of the Legionella bacteria, which grows in warm water and is often present in water supplies.

The recent news stories about the home and the tragic loss of some of our residents has raised many concerns among the public.

Sam Posner (POHZ'-nur) is associate director for epidemiological science for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Jeffries said that over the course of several months after residents and their families were notified of the outbreak, just six residents chose to leave the home and "none of them, save one, maybe, made a decision to leave the home because of the Legionnaires' incident". A visit or a sit-down conversation on this issue with the staff would show a great deal of support for Quincy and one of its most valuable residences.

Shah said compared to other health care facilities with a similar population of elderly residents, Quincy pneumonia rates are in-line or below what is expected.

Rauner also praised staff members for their commitment to the veterans.

Keep Quincy home's doors open
Lawmakers seek answers on vets' home Legionnaires' outbreak

Shah says the important thing in such an emergency is to notify the facility. We must ensure this facility stays open.

The director of the Illinois Department of Public Health says the agency's website has incorrect information about Legionnaires' disease. Quincy home staff were told within 27 minutes and ordered to restrict water usage that "turned the tide on the epidemic".

Tom Cullerton, chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, helped conduct the joint hearing with the House Veterans Committee on Tuesday in Chicago.

Kifowit thought the public should have been told earlier in August 2015 based on IDPH website information that Legionnaires' has a gestation period of three to five days.

"Let's get to work and give our veterans the service and care they deserve".

With frequent guidance from the CDC, the new water treatment system manager, Phigenics, implemented a new, advanced treatment system and walked us through how the technology removes all contamination and the legionella bacteria.

"Your best is not good enough, Dr. Shah, it's atrocious", said Democratic Sen.

"I do not support closing this facility, period", said Rauner.

Gov. Bruce Rauner checked into the facility January 3 to stay a few nights and met with U.S. Sen.

Jeffries said it was likely that the relatively common bacteria would continue to be found at the home.

Latest News