Sick with Legionnaires?
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Elliot Olsen has regained millions of dollars for clients harmed by Legionnaires’ disease. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires at a Chicago hospital, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is investigating an outbreak of four cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, a suburb of Chicago.
The outbreak is the third at a Chicago-area hospital in three months. In May, the IDPH investigated two cases at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and in April, the department examined two illnesses at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.
Of the four cases at Advocate Christ, three involved patients at the hospital, while an employee was the other infected. The incidents date to 2018, but two occurred within the past two months, according to the IDPH.
The IDPH is testing the hospital’s water, and hospital officials are working with the state on a water-management plan.
Patients at higher risk
A 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that “75 percent of (Legionnaires’ disease) acquired in health-care settings could be prevented with better water management.”
Most people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but people 50 years old and older – especially those who smoke or have chronic lung conditions – are at a higher risk.
Other people more susceptible to infection include:
- recipients of organ transplants
- individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one)
- heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages.
This list also includes anyone with an immune system weakened by:
- frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis or skin infections
- organ inflammation and infection
- blood disorders, such as low platelet counts or anemia
- digestive problems, such as cramping, appetite loss, diarrhea, and nausea
- delayed growth and development.
After a Legionnaires diagnosis, hospitalization is often necessary. In the most severe Legionnaires cases, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, or even death.
Feeling ill? Get tested
The IDPH recommends that patients, visitors to, or employees of Advocate Christ who are feeling pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms, should seek care from their health-care provider. Symptoms usually develop two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella bacteria and frequently begin with the following signs: