MANTENO, Ill. – With the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs reporting a confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno, State Rep. Nicholas Smith, D-Chicago, called for immediate action to prevent more residents from becoming sick.
“It is upsetting to see another case of Legionnaires’, especially so close to home,” said Smith. “Our veterans and their spouses deserve the utmost respect and best treatment possible as they age, and it is unthinkable that they have to worry about becoming ill from their water.”
Smith called for immediate action by the Manteno Veterans Home to avoid a repeat of the horrific Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Home, which infected over forty people, with fourteen people losing their lives since the initial outbreak in 2015. The illness is caused by the bacterium Legionella and is spread through water vapor from a contaminated water system. Adults over the age of 50 and individuals with weak immune systems are most at risk of contracting Legionnaires’.
“We must do all that we can to make sure those that served their country live comfortably and securely in the later years of their lives,” Smith said. “The spread of Legionella is preventable, and I urge the Manteno home to take the steps necessary to protect residents and staff from contracting the illness.”