Legionnaires’ disease death toll rises to 10 in Quincy

Ten people in western Illinois now have died from Legionnaires’ disease after a state veterans home in Quincy reported two new fatalities among its residents.
    
An outbreak first identified in late August has sickened 53 residents at the home, nine of whom died. State and local public health officials have not disclosed how the 10th victim contracted the disease, a severe form of pneumonia.
    
The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday that it planned to treat the home’s water systems with a chemical disinfectant. An agency spokesman could not immediately answer why that step had not been taken sooner.
    
Residents of the veterans home continue to rely on bottled water and sponge baths as a precaution. The disease is mostly contracted through inhaling bacteria that thrives in warm water.

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