IDVA and IDPH respond to single case of legionnaires’ disease at Manteno Veterans’ Home

MANTENO, Ill. (September 2, 2019) – Last week the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) learned that a case of legionnaires’ disease was identified in a resident at the Manteno Veterans Home and notified all residents, families, and staff. The resident is being treated and is in stable condition.

Manteno Veterans Home has been visited by Lansing’s American Legion Riders Chapter 697 and Lansing Boy Scout Troop 276. Both groups have visited the home and brought donations to the veterans there.

“Nothing matters more than providing the utmost care for our veterans,” said Linda Chapa LaVia, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “Our staff has taken swift action. We will continue to monitor this case and be diligent in our efforts to communicate with our resident heroes, their families, and our valued staff.”

At the time of diagnosis, Manteno Veterans Home immediately implemented its response plan as part of its water management program. A thermal treatment response has been completed on the entire building to provide an enhanced level of protection for all residents. The water system has been flushed aggressively, and the resident’s sink, the ice machine, and the community shower in the resident’s wing have been taken out of service as a precaution in accordance with the water management plan. Further water testing has been ordered in addition to their regular water testing, and the home has instituted extra vital signs checks on all residents.

Water use is restricted, and bottled water will be delivered for all staff and residents. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection (pneumonia) that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing legionella bacteria; it is not spread from person to person.

Manteno Veterans Home has alerted all residents, family, and staff about the case of legionnaires’ disease. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is assisting with the response, providing guidance on clinical testing and infection prevention, along with conducting an onsite environmental health investigation to safeguard everyone at the facility.

In 2018, Illinois reported 512 cases of legionnaires’ disease statewide, with 251 confirmed to date in 2019. IDVA follows its water management plan and CDC recommendations to protect the health and safety of its residents.

All IDVA illness notifications may be found at www.veterans.illinois.gov. For more information on legionnaires’ disease, visit www.dph.illinois.gov.

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