CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports that six Illinois residents from Champaign County have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease since September 15, 2018. Additional information about the residents, including their medical condition, is not available.
Several locations are being investigated, including the First Christian Church, where patients may have participated in wedding activities.
Legionella bacteria occur naturally in the environment. Water containing Legionella bacteria can be aerosolized through cooling towers, showers, hot tubs, and decorative fountains, and can cause illness when inhaled. Approximately 300 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported across Illinois each year. It is not transmitted person-to-person.
Legionnaires’ disease usually begins with symptoms like high fever (102 degrees F - 105 degrees F), chills, muscle pain, and headache. Other symptoms may include cough (which may be dry or productive), shortness of breath, chest pain, or even gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea. The incubation period, the time between exposure and onset of illness, is up to 14 days.
IDPH is working closely with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District to identify linkages among the cases and conduct necessary environmental assessments and interventions. Please see your health care provider if you are symptomatic and think you have been exposed to Legionella bacteria.
More information about Legionnaires’ disease can be found on the IDPH website.
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