2 new cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported at Vernon Hills senior home, raising total to 5

Two new cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported at a senior home in north suburban Vernon Hills, bringing the total to five, including one previous fatal case.

The cases of the severe respiratory disease at Brookdale Senior Living, 145 N. Milwaukee Ave., were first reported Feb. 3 to health officials, according to the Lake County Health Department.

A spokesperson for Brookdale Senior Living said Tuesday that health officials are now investigating five total cases.

According to the spokesperson, Brookdale is combating the disease by flushing water lines, cleaning shower heads, adding filters, and closing a pond, pool and spa.

The Lake County Health Department has said it is investigating the cases along with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“We continue to follow the protocols and recommendations outlined by the [state and county health departments] and are following the guidance of a national water treatment company,” a Brookdale Senior Living spokesperson said in an email. “The health of our residents and associates is our greatest concern and we are taking appropriate steps regarding the Legionella bacteria.”

Legionella bacteria are transmitted through water droplets from showers or fountains. Most healthy people are not infected after being exposed to the bacteria.

Legionnaires’ can’t be spread from person-to-person, but can be deadly.

In late January, two fatal cases of Legionnaires’ at a Carol Stream retirement community were reported by health officials.