Legionella bacteria detected at two Illinois Department of Corrections facilities

Legionnaires' disease
Legionnaires' disease(CNN)
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 3:57 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KWQC) - Bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease has been detected at two Illinois corrections facilities. The bacteria was detected during routine water testing at the Stateville and Joliet Treatment Center facilities last week. IDOC conducts quarterly legionella testing at all locations. Currently, no inmates or staff members at either facility are exhibiting symptoms of the disease and all potentially affected individuals in custody have been notified.

“In partnership with IDPH, the department will continue to closely monitor inmates and will conduct rigorous water cleansing and follow up testing to ensure the bacteria is eradicated,” said IDOC Director Rob Jeffreys.

The IDOC works with the University of Illinois to conduct regular water testing at all facilities across the state. Upon detection of legionella, the department immediately halted use of the impacted areas and began flushing out the water lines to remove the bacteria. Additional testing will continue for two weeks after the initial round of testing. Additionally, at the recommendation of Illinois Department of Public Health, IDOC will test all impacted individuals ten days after initial contact with infected water.

Legionella is a bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease. The bacteria occurs naturally in freshwater environments and can grow and spreads in plumbing systems. Legionnaires’ can develop when people breathe water vapor or or consume water that contains legionella bacteria. For more information on legionella and Legionnaires’ disease, go to the CDC website.

Copyright 2022 KWQC. All rights reserved.