Lawmakers Hold Hearing On Legionnaires' Outbreak At Quincy Veterans Home

The Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy

"Not only are they top of their profession in medical care and medical knowledge and expertise as well as maintenance expertise and other types of professional ability, they are a loving, nurturing, extended family for the veterans who live here", said Rauner.

"I've stayed every night here, I've eaten every meal here except for Saturday lunch and Sunday lunch", said Rauner.

While the bulk of the illnesses and deaths occurred in 2015 - 47 cases and 12 deaths had been attributed to the disease by late September of that year - the state has struggled to rid the home of the Legionella bacteria, which grows in warm water and is often present in water supplies.

Senate Committee Chairman Tom Cullerton called the hearing following the death of 13 residents and dozens of other people sickened since an outbreak in 2015. State officials said they have followed all of the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and have even gone beyond in some cases.

Shah says it took a mere 27 minutes from when the IDPH first learned in 2015 of a second case of Legionnaires' to notify the Quincy home and the local health department. He told lawmakers those actions, including shutting down use of potentially contaminated water, helped to stem the spread of the disease.

Jeffries, an Army veteran, says a press release went out days after they had their "facts straight". Legionnaires' is caused by bacteria in water systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report that the possibility of future cases can not be eliminated.

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"I'll tell you right now, I'll support it", said McSweeney, a Rauner foe who has continually fought tax increases and added spending. A visit or a sit-down conversation on this issue with the staff would show a great deal of support for Quincy and one of its most valuable residences. "If we can't fix this now, and this is not going to get done, these buildings aren't getting younger, this isn't going to getting easier, this isn't going to get more cost effective, or cheaper, how are we going to get it done now so that our flagship veterans home-the one we've had longest-serving, that had Civil War veterans in it-remains and is a piece of the Quincy community", said Sen.

Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) had one main concern at Tuesday's joint House-Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing: how to end Legionnaires' disease.

Officials say it would cost $25 million to replace plumbing to mitigate the disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

Rauner made a point to state that he spent his time in the IVH just like the residents do, outside of leaving on Saturday and Sunday for prior commitments and family obligations.

Rauner also said he will assemble a group of experts to determine whether a state-of-the-art dorm should be built and whether a safer groundwater source is available for the home.

Lawmakers are scheduled to question members of Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration about the deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

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