New Legionnaires' case reported at Batavia senior living facility

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 10/1/2019 5:46 PM

A 13th confirmed case of Legionnaires' disease has been reported at Covenant Living at the Holmstad in Batavia, Kane County Health Department officials said Tuesday.

There now have been 15 total cases confirmed by the Illinois Department of Public Health -- 13 at the senior living facility and two others involving residents from Geneva and Batavia -- living within a half-mile of the facility at 700 W. Fabyan Parkway. The first cases were reported Aug. 30.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Results of environmental testing identified Legionella bacteria on Covenant's campus and an off-site cooling tower not associated with Covenant Living, county health department officials said in a news release. The cooling tower that tested positive for Legionella has been shut down and mitigation procedures have been instituted.

Legionella control measures also have been implemented at all known possible sources of exposure identified by state and county health officials at both Covenant Living and off-site.

A definitive source of Legionella is rarely determined through environmental investigation, officials said. In most cases, potential and possible sources of exposure are identified and investigated and control measures are implemented to stop further exposure and disease.

In this case, officials said the initial environmental assessments focused on Covenant's building water systems, cooling tower and other potential sources on campus.

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An environmental assessment also was conducted at each of the identified off-site cooling towers and equipment used on the Fabyan Parkway Bridge construction project. The Fabyan Parkway project did not test positive for Legionella.

The public water supplies for both Batavia and Geneva are not compromised by this outbreak, officials said. Each city maintains levels of chlorine that meet or exceed those required by the state to ensure the water is free from Legionella bacteria.

Legionnaires' disease is a serious lung infection that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria.

Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems, such as hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities and cruise ships. The bacterium can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems, such as hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, and decorative fountains.

For details about Legionella, visit https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/about/causes-transmission.html.

For further information and updates, visit the health department website at KaneHealth.com.

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