An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has been reported in a southwestern suburb, with multiple cases linked to an area church, public health officials said Friday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is working with the Stickney Public Health District to investigate a series of cases reported in Burbank between June and August.

Four cases were linked to St. Albert’s Cathedral, three epidemiologically and one geographically, the health ministry said in a statement issued on Friday.

Laboratory tests have revealed the presence of Legionella bacteria, the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease.In a church cooling tower, according to the health department.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection that is contracted by breathing in tiny droplets containing Legionella bacteria, IDPH said.

“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 check.” Health Department.

Legionnaires’ disease often begins with a high fever, chills of 102 to 105 degrees Celsius, muscle aches, coughing and shortness of breath, Vohra said.

Symptoms usually develop within two weeks after exposure, Vohra said.

According to the state health department, most healthy people don’t get sick from exposure to Legionella, but people over the age of 50 and people with certain risk factors, such as current or former smokers, do. higher risk.

Last year, Illinois reported 522 cases of Legionnaires’ disease statewide. As of 2022, 277 cases have been reported.

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