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HomeIllinois News13 Illinois veterans die of Legionnaires in state-run facility; 11 families sue...

13 Illinois veterans die of Legionnaires in state-run facility; 11 families sue for negligence

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QUINCY – After the deaths of 13 veterans in an Illinois-run facility in 2015 and 2016, grieving families are suing the state for negligence, a WBEZ 91.5 story "Surviving War, but not the Veterans' Home" reports.  

The culprit appears to be the Illinois Home's 100 year old plumbing system. Legionellosis or "Legionnaire's disease" can be contracted when people inhale infected water vapor through showers, sinks, and fountains. 

UPDATE: Governor's office responds to WBEZ story Wednesday afternoon.

"In three straight years, legionellosis killed 13 people and sickened at least 61 residents and staff at the downstate veterans’ home, and the state has failed to stop the outbreaks despite investing millions of taxpayer dollars," Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold write.

Since the initial outbreak, the state has imposed new treatment protocols and spent nearly $6.4 million on emergency upgrades to the complex’s water treatment system.

But the victims' families are upset with the state and Governor Rauner's office for hiding the initial outbreak for over a month, FOIA's emails indicate. 

US Senator Dick Durbin is demanding the facility be shuttered until the plumbing system can be updated.

The full report is HERE

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