The recent Legionnaires disease nationwide outbreak has took health care authorities by surprise after it killed 8 residents at the Quincy Veterans’ Home in Illinois. The total number of affected persons is of 39, whereas yesterday it was 29.
Predominant symptoms of the Legionnaires’ disease include breathing challenges, fever, coughing and muscle pain.
Similar outbreaks have taken place before in New York City. The disease was then linked to a couple of cooling towers in Bronx.
Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were more nervous about the total number of patients rather than the magnitude of the recent outbreak. They said that they are expecting the number of victims and the death toll to increase since the disease begins to show its first symptoms after a two-week incubation period.
Legionnaires’ experts said the reason why the number of cases increased so rapidly at the Quincy Veterans’ Home was the old age and delicate health condition of the residents. Cathy Houston, nurse at the Veterans’ Home said that this is the first time in thirty years she sees something like this. The Legionella bacteria is the cause of the disease, which cannot be transmitted among humans.
As a first measure, the residents at the Quincy Veterans’ Home will not be drinking only bottled water. The administrators have ordered the cleaning of its air conditioning system and water tanks. They also completely shut down all sources of potential aerosolized water.
Unrelated cases are a typical pattern of the disease, as it tends to appear more frequently in people who are already weakened.
San Quentin State Prison, San Francisco was also struck by the Legionnaires’ disease, with a total of 6 patients and other 95 inmates that were put under medical observation.
Authorities are advising the elderly and sick, as well as those with a compromised immune system not to visit their home. However, access by relatives is not prohibited.
Photo credits: wikipedia