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updated: 9/11/2019 4:24 PM

4 more Legionnaires’ cases at Batavia senior living facility

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Daily Herald report

Four additional cases of Legionnaires' disease have been reported at Batavia's Covenant Living at the Holmstad, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 12, officials said Wednesday.

Covenant Living Executive Director Amanda Gosnell said the senior living facility at 700 W. Fabyan Parkway is working with the Kane County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Health to take measures aimed at mitigating potential Legionella bacteria following the initial report on Aug. 30.

"Since that time, we have been keeping all of our residents and employees informed, and on the recommendation from the state, maintaining regular operations," Gosnell said in a news release.

She said the facility is "pursuing all possible interventions to protect resident and employee safety and well-being."

Those interventions include adding microbial filters to shower heads in the health care area, flushing water fixtures biweekly in every apartment and common spaces, and doing chemical and mechanical cleaning of the cooling tower.

"In addition, we are taking an even more aggressive measure of potable water disinfection called hyperchlorination," Gosnell said in the release. "In this process, we are deploying high doses of chlorine for a short period of time" to assist with disinfection.

Legionnaires' disease is a serious lung infection that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria.

Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems, such as hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities and cruise ships. The bacterium can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems, such as hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, and decorative fountains.

Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires' disease after being exposed to Legionella bacteria, the health department has said.

People at increased risk are those 50 or older, or who have risk factors such as being a current or former smoker, having a chronic disease, or having a weakened immune system.

More information about Legionnaires' disease and updates can be found at KaneHealth.com/Pages/Menu-Disease.aspx.