Legionnaire’s Takes Over Covenant Living Senior Home in Batavia
On September 12, the Illinois Department of Health confirmed two additional Legionnaires’ cases involving residents of a Kane County senior living home. Since late August, Covenant Living at the Holmstad located in the community of Batavia, has been home to a cluster of 14 Legionnaires’ cases, according to the Daily Herald. Unfortunately, Legionella bacteria is dangerous and can be found in buildings with complex water systems, such as hospitals, hotels, apartment complexes and nursing homes.
“As the epidemiological and environmental investigation of this Legionnaires’ disease cluster continues, it is important to release this information to ensure that nearby residents are aware and seek treatment if they become symptomatic,” Ngozi Ezike, MD, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, told local news.
Under normal circumstances, one in 10 people will die after acquiring Legionnaires’ disease, but if the condition is contracted at a health care facility, the odds of death jump to one in 4. So far, there have been no related deaths in Batavia, but health officials will continue to test additional sources at and around the senior living facility. Health department officials did tell the Daily Herald that Covenant’s administrators are “working to mitigate potentially harmful bacteria by flushing water, installing filters and cleaning cooling towers.”
Many Nursing Home Facilities Have Unsafe Water Systems
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of all cases of Legionnaires’ are contracted at a long-term care facility while hospitals are only responsible for about 18 percent of all cases. Advanced age and weakened immune systems are risk factors for the disease, but the water systems within nursing home facilities are not overseen with as much care as other facilities such as hotels or apartment complexes and most homes have minimal to none legionella prevention policies in place, a direct result of the deadly outbreak in Quincy in 2015.
Proper maintenance of water supplies, along with the quick recognition of symptoms such as respiratory distress and providing fast and appropriate treatments are essential to preventing nursing home resident illnesses and deaths related to the exposure of legionella bacteria.
In 2018, Legionnaires’ Disease should not be a risk factor in health care environments, especially nursing homes and senior living complexes. These are residences where vulnerable patients have fewer positive outcomes when preventative measures are ignored and are naturally at greater risk of being impacted by poor safety regulation.
Nursing Home Residents Should be Protected Against Legionnaires’ Disease
If someone you love has fallen ill or died from Legionnaires’ Disease while a resident of a nursing home, a patient at a hospital, or a guest or resident of any other type of care facility, the Illinois nursing home and personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti can help determine if you have cause to pursue legal action.
Fill out an online request form and request a free and confidential meeting or call us at 312-332-2872 to schedule a time to talk with an attorney.
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