State Health Department investigating Legionnaires’ disease cluster in Burbank; 4 cases linked to the church in the region

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A cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases have been reported in a southwestern suburb, with several cases linked to a church in the area, public health officials said Friday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is working with the Stickney Public Health District to investigate the cluster of cases reported between June and August in Burbank.

Four cases were linked to St. Albert the Great Church – three epidemiologically and one geographically, the health department said in a statement on Friday.

Laboratory tests revealed the presence of Legionella, the bacteria responsible for Legionnaire’s disease,in the church’s cooling tower, according to the health department.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection that people can get from breathing in small water droplets containing Legionella bacteria, the IDPH said.

“As the epidemiological and environmental investigation into this group of Legionnaires’ diseases continues, it is important to release this information to ensure that anyone with risk factors who experiences symptoms is aware and seeks evaluation and treatment. treatment,” said Dr Sameer Vohra, director of the health department.

Legionnaires’ disease often begins with high fever, chills between 102 and 105 degrees, muscle aches, cough and shortness of breath, Vohra said.

Symptoms usually develop up to two weeks after exposure, according to Vohra.

Most healthy people won’t get sick after exposure to Legionella bacteria, but there’s an increased risk for people over 50 or those with certain risk factors, such as current or former smokers, according to the state health department.

Last year, Illinois reported 522 cases of Legionnaires’ disease statewide. So far in 2022, 277 cases have been reported.

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