An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has been reported in a suburb of Chicago and is believed to be linked to a local church, health officials said Friday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Stickney Public Health District said they were investigating a series of cases in Burbank, Illinois.

So far, cases have been reported between June and August, and at least one case is geographically linked to St. Albert’s Cathedral in Burbank, according to health officials. , and 3 other cases were epidemiologically linked.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the IDPH said inspectors who collected samples from the church detected the presence of Legionella bacteria in the building’s cooling towers. Health officials said the church worked together to notify parishioners and the cooling tower was closed until Legionella was no longer detected.

“As the epidemiological and environmental investigation of this cluster of Legionnaires’ disease continues, we are releasing this information to the public so that persons with risk factors who are feeling symptoms are aware and seek evaluation and treatment. It is important to ensure that the statement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaires’ disease is “a serious type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria.”

“Breathing small droplets or accidentally swallowing water containing Legionella into your lungs can make you sick,” says the CDC. However, the disease is not contagious from person to person.

The illness usually begins with a high fever, chills, muscle aches, cough and shortness of breath, Vohra said. Symptoms often appear within two weeks after exposure.

Health officials say most healthy people don’t get sick after being exposed to the bacteria, but those at higher risk include those over the age of 50, or certain people such as smokers and those with chronic illnesses. include those with risk factors for Those with weakened immune systems.

The IDPH also advised local hospitals and providers to monitor additional cases and to monitor patients exhibiting symptoms related to the disease.

In 2021, Illinois reported 522 cases of Legionellosis. So far this year, IDPH has recorded 227 cases of him.

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