Outbreaks in Illinois

Below are outbreaks, investigations, disease concerns, and increased activity in 2020 that include cases in Illinois or have a wide impact in Illinois.

Multistate E. coli Outbreak Linked to Sprouts at Jimmy John's

The Illinois Department of Public Health, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Jackson County Health Department, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, and the Adams County Health Department, is investigating a multistate outbreak of E. Coli O103 linked to sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants.

Patients started experiencing symptoms in early January 2020 and mid February 2020.

Individuals at risk for illness include those who have consumed food from Jimmy John’s restaurants or sprouts in any setting.

Fourteen cases have been reported in five states, including Illinois.  In Illinois, six cases matching the outbreak strain have been reported in central and southern Illinois.

A public health investigation is being conducted, including interviewing cases of Shiga toxin producing E. coli to identify food exposures and the collection of invoices to conduct traceback and identify the source of the sprouts. In response to the investigation, Jimmy John’s notified stores to remove sprouts from its menu nationwide on February 22, 2020.

Several outbreaks of E. coli and Salmonella have been investigated previously that were linked to sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants. 

You can learn more about E.coli here: http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/e-coli

Updated Date:
February 27, 2020

Legionairres' Disease (Lake County Senior Living Facility)

Legionnaires’ disease cluster among residents at a senior living facility in Lake County

The Illinois Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Lake County Health Department, is investigating five cases of Legionnaires’ disease among residents of the Brookdale Senior Living Facility in Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Patients started experiencing symptoms in late January 2020 and early February 2020.

Individuals at risk for illness include residents, staff, and visitors to the facility.

Public health officials conducted a full investigation, including an environmental assessment and water sampling. Water restrictions were implemented and control measures recommended. The facility notified staff, residents, and families. Health care professionals are looking retrospectively and prospectively to identify additional cases. To date, no additional cases has been identified.

Legionnaires’ disease is caused when a person inhales legionella bacteria into their lungs, typically through mist or vapor from a water source contaminated with the bacteria.  http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/legionellosis

News release - https://www.lakecountyil.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2116.

Updated Date:
February 25, 2020

Legionairres' Disease (Chicago Nursing Home)

Legionnaires’ disease cluster among residents of a Chicago nursing home

The Illinois Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health, is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease among residents of the Balmoral Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Plainfield, Illinois.

The first case started experiencing symptoms in September 2019, and the second case in December 2019.

Individuals at risk for illness include residents, staff, and visitors to the facility.

Public health officials conducted a full investigation, including an environmental assessment and water sampling. Water restrictions were implemented and control measures recommended. The facility notified staff, residents, and families. Health care professionals are looking retrospectively and prospectively to identify additional cases. To date, no additional cases has been identified.

Legionnaires’ disease is caused when a person inhales legionella bacteria into their lungs, typically through mist or vapor from a water source contaminated with the bacteria.  http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/legionellosis

News release - http://dph.illinois.gov/news/idph-investigating-legionnaires%E2%80%99-disease-cases-two-chicago-nursing-homes

Updated Date:
February 25, 2020

Legionairres' Disease (Will County Nursing Home)

Legionnaires’ disease cluster among residents of a Will County nursing home and rehabilitation center

The Illinois Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Will County Health Department, is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease among residents of the Lakewood Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Plainfield, Illinois.

Both cases started experiencing symptoms in January 2020.

Individuals at risk for illness include residents, staff, and visitors to the facility.

Public health officials conducted a full investigation, including an environmental assessment and water sampling. Water restrictions were implemented and control measures recommended. The facility notified staff, residents, and families. Health care professionals are looking retrospectively and prospectively to identify additional cases. To date, no additional cases has been identified.

Legionnaires’ disease is caused when a person inhales legionella bacteria into their lungs, typically through mist or vapor from a water source contaminated with the bacteria.  http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/legionellosis

News release - https://willcountyhealth.org/health-department-investigating-two-confirmed-cases-of-legionnaires-disease-at-plainfield-senior-home

Updated Date:
February 25, 2020

Hepatitis A

Statewide Hepatitis A Person-to-Person Community Outbreak

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) declared a statewide hepatitis A community outbreak in December 2018 after observing an increase in person-to-person transmitted hepatitis A cases.

As of December 31, 2019 – 177 cases have been associated with the outbreak statewide.

Individuals most at risk for this outbreak include men who have sex with men (MSM), individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals who use drugs, and individuals who were recently incarcerated.

IDPH recommends people at risk for hepatitis A infection contact a health care provider or local health department for information about vaccination. Individuals who have been exposed to someone with hepatitis A should also contact a health care provider or local health department about post-exposure vaccination.

IDPH, in partnership with local health departments, is offering free hepatitis A vaccine to individuals most at risk of infection.

Although a vaccine is available for hepatitis A, outbreaks can occur when infected individuals have close contact with others at risk of contracting the disease .

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is passed easily from one person to another through food, water, drug use, and sex. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. http://www.dph.illinois.gov/hepatitisA

Most recent news release - http://www.dph.illinois.gov/news/six-new-cases-hepatitis-within-past-week

Updated Date:
January 2, 2020

Campylobacter Outbreak

Multistate outbreak of multi-drug resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to puppies purchased from pet stores

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted an investigation notice for a multistate outbreak of multi-drug resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to puppies purchased from pet stores. Puppies can carry Campylobacter in their feces. Puppies may experience diarrhea associated with Campylobacter or can show no symptoms and still may carry the germ.

  • As of December 17, 2019, 30 cases have been associated with the outbreak nationwide, including one Illinois resident with specialized testing.
  • According to the CDC, illness started from January 6, 2019 through November 10, 2019.  Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.
  • Individuals most at risk are those who purchased puppies from pet stores, especially from a national pet store chain.

IDPH recommends that groups and pet stores who sell or place puppies with families, not place puppies with diarrhea with families. However, even puppies without diarrhea can have this germ in their feces.  Therefore, anyone who handles dogs, especially puppies, and feces from dog should carefully wash their hands after handling the dog or the feces from the dog. Veterinarians should be judicious in their use of antibiotics when working with individual dogs and groups of dogs.

IDPH is coordinating with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to share information on any puppies sold while ill from pet stores in the state.

CDC reported a similar multi-state outbreak in 2018.

Additional information can be found on the following websites.

Updated Date:
January 2, 2020