Catholic Church in Burbank, site of Legionnaires’ disease church: officials say

State health officials are investigating a cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases, some of which are linked to a Catholic church in the southwest suburbs of Burbank.

The group surveyed, with appearance dates between June and August, were linked to St. Albert the Great Church, 8000 Linder Ave. in the city of Burbank, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Laboratory tests detected the presence of legionella in the church’s cooling tower after IDPH environmental health staff inspected the church and took samples, the statement said.

Three cases were “epidemiologically linked” and one case was geographically linked to the church.

IDPH has alerted hospitals and healthcare providers in the region to consider Legionnaires’ disease in the diagnosis of patients with clinically compatible conditions, according to the statement.

Additionally, local state health departments investigating cases of Legionnaires’ disease were asked to inquire about time spent in Burbank in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.

The church is cooperating fully with the removal of the cooling tower and advising parishioners of the situation, according to the statement, which adds that the cooling tower will be closed until Legionella is no longer detected.

“As the epidemiological and environmental investigation into this group of Legionnaires’ diseases continues, it is important to release this information to ensure that anyone with risk factors who experiences symptoms is aware and seeks evaluation and treatment. treatment,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in the statement.

“Legionnaires’ disease typically begins with a high fever (102°F to 105°F), chills, muscle aches, cough and shortness of breath, and symptoms usually develop up to two weeks after exposure. “

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Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection (pneumonia) that people can contract by breathing in small water droplets that contain Legionella bacteria, the statement said.

It is not transmitted from person to person.

Outbreaks are most often associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems, such as hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities and cruise ships, the statement said. The bacteria can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in man-made water systems, such as spas, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, and decorative fountains.

Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed to Legionella bacteria, the statement said.

People at increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease are those aged 50 or older or those with certain risk factors, such as being a current or former smoker, having a chronic disease, or having a weakened immune system.

In 2021, Illinois reported 522 cases of Legionnaires’ disease statewide, with 227 confirmed so far in 2022

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