‘Cluster’ of Legionnaires’ disease reported in Burbank; 4 cases linked to church

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BURBANK, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating a “cluster” of Legionnaires’ disease cases in Burbank.

Three cases were epidemiologically linked and one case was geographically linked to St. Albert the Great Church in Burbank, located in the 8000 block of Central Avenue. IDPH’s Environmental Health staff inspected the church and collected samples.

Laboratory tests detected the presence of legionella in the church’s cooling tower, IDPH said.

Local health departments around the area, that have been dealing with cases, have been asked to inquire about anytime spent in Burbank during the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria. It is not transmitted person-to-person. Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems.

Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed to Legionella bacteria. People at increased risk of Legionnaire’s disease are those 50 years of age or older, or those who have certain risk factors, such as being a current or former smoker, having a chronic disease, or having a weakened immune system.

Last year, over 500 cases were reported statewide with 227 confirmed this year so far.

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