4th Legionnaires' Case Confirmed at Illinois Veterans Home

4 cases confirmed this year, 13 have died since 2015

Alex Degman
February 20, 2018 - 4:59 pm
Empty corridor in modern hospital. Empty long hallway in the hospital. Empty clinic hall with white walls.


QUINCY/SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) -- A fourth confirmed case of Legionnaires' disease has been confirmed at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says lab testing confirmed it earlier Tuesday. The resident is in stable condition. 
Meanwhile in Springfield, lawmakers called a hearing to talk about a report released Friday that said replacing all the pipes and plumbing in the home would cost $8 million -- instead of the $25 million to $30 million the Rauner administration projected.
"We have received communication from the Governor's Office, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Capital Development Board that they will not be showing up for today's hearing," said State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) as he opened a subject matter hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. 

Cullerton tried to adjourn the committee when it became clear no one would from the administration would be able to answer questions about the report. But other senators, like Republican Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, wanted their say.

"I think it's unfortunate that we would call this hearing with an expectation that department heads of agencies for the state of Illinois would be given less than 48 hours notice on this hearing and be expected to testify, and that less than 48 hours notice occurred on a holiday weekend as well," Schimpf told the committee. "I'm a little disappointed we would even call for this hearing today."

"IDVA was notified about the hearing today late Sunday afternoon," Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Dave MacDonna said in a statement. "Director [Erica] Jeffries stands ready to work with this committee. But could not on such short notice. She did inform Senator [Tom] Cullerton that she would not be able to attend and respectfully asked that he reschedule."

MacDonna also took issue with the report being scrutinized.

"The 2016 BRiC (an engineering consulting firm with a Belleville office) report was a third-party contractor’s estimate for partial piping replacement to 12 buildings on the campus," MacDonna said. "The 2018 report includes replacing piping for 32 buildings, at an estimate of about $25 million.  The two reports were NOT estimating the same project."
13 people have died of Legionnaires Disease at the Illinois Veterans Home since 2015.