A cluster of Legionnaires’ illness instances have been reported in a Chicago suburb, believed to be linked to an space church, well being officers revealed Friday.
The Illinois Division of Public Well being and the Stickney Public Well being District mentioned they had been investigating a cluster of instances in Burbank, Illinois.
The instances had been thus far reported between June and August, well being officers mentioned, with a minimum of one case geographically linked to the St. Albert Nice Church in Burbank. Three different instances had been linked epidemiologically, the division mentioned.
An investigation is underway surrounding the instances, and IDPH mentioned inspectors who collected samples from the church detected the presence of legionella within the constructing’s cooling tower. The church is cooperating and notifying parishioners, well being officers mentioned, and the cooling tower was shut down till legionella is now not detected.
“Because the epidemiological and environmental investigation of this Legionnaires’ illness cluster continues, it is very important launch this data to make sure that anybody with danger components who feels signs is conscious and seeks analysis and therapy,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra mentioned in an announcement.
In accordance with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, Legionnaires’ illness is “a critical kind of pneumonia brought on by legionella micro organism.”
“Folks can get sick after they breathe in small droplets of water or accidently swallow water containing legionella into the lungs,” the CDC states. The illness is just not unfold from person-to-person, nevertheless.
Vohra mentioned the illness usually begins with a excessive fever, chills, muscle aches, a cough and shortness of breath. Signs typically develop inside two weeks of publicity.
In accordance with well being officers, most wholesome folks do not contract the sickness following publicity to the micro organism, however these at a better danger embrace anybody 50 years of age or older, or these with sure danger components like people who smoke, folks with a persistent illness or these with weakened immune techniques.
IDPH mentioned is had additionally suggested hospitals and suppliers within the space to watch for added instances and look ahead to sufferers who pose signs related to the sickness.
In 2021, Illinois reported 522 instances of Legionnaires’ illness. To this point this 12 months, IDPH has recorded 227 instances.