The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health are investigating three cases of Legionnaires’ disease at two North Side nursing homes.
Two residents at Balmoral Nursing Home (2055 W. Balmoral Ave.) and one resident at Admiral at the Lake (929 W. Foster Ave.) have been diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Officials say the cases at the two facilities don’t appear to be related.
Balmoral Nursing Home has implemented water restrictions and installed water filters in certain areas of the facility, according to IDPH, which has collected water samples for testing and is awaiting results. Water samples collected and tested by the facility’s consultant were negative for legionella bacteria, according to health officials.
Legionnaires’ disease is a flu-like malady caused by inhaling water vapor infected with Legionella bacteria. Most people do not get Legionnaires’ after exposure to Legionella bacteria, and the disease is not transmitted from person to person. Elderly people and those with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to the disease.
Symptoms of the disease typically begin within 12 days of exposure to the bacteria and include high fever, chills, muscle pain and headache. All of those sickened at Balmoral Nursing Home and Admiral at the Lake were at the facilities 10 days before they started showing symptoms, according to health officials.
IDPH environmental health staff conducted an on-site visit at Admiral at the Lake, which is implementing processes to reduce exposure and has hired a water management company, according to health officials.
Balmoral Nursing Home has notified residents and employees of the two cases at its facility, while Admiral at the Lake is in the process of informing residents and staff about the Legionnaires’ case at its facility, according to IDPH. Both nursing homes are conducting surveillance to identify other potential cases while implementing appropriate testing and clinical management.