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Is Construction Site To Blame For Legionnaires' Outbreak In Batavia?

BATAVIA, Ill. (CBS) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday was investigating whether a construction site might be the cause of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Batavia.

The construction site is located on Fabyan Parkway. A crew using any aerosol or water device could spread Legionella bacteria, the IDPH said.

The site is steps away from the Covenant Living at Homlstad retirement home, where there are 12 confirmed cases of Legionnaires'.

Two more cases have been reported in Batavia outside the retirement home.

Legionnaires' disease is a serious lung infection that people contract by inhaling in small drops of water containing the Legionella bacteria. It is not transmitted contagiously between people.

Outbreaks are most often associated with buildings that have complex water systems, including hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and cruise ships, the IDPH said.

Most healthy people do not get sick after being exposed to Legionella bacteria, the IDPH emphasized. People are at increased risk if they are 50 or older or have other risk factors, such as being a current or former smoker, having a chronic disease, or having a weakened immune system.

A total of at least 285 cases of Legionnaires' disease have been confirmed in Illinois in 2019.

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