Sunday, September 15, 2019 11:02 AM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
BATAVIA, Ill. (AP) — Public health officials are worried an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at a suburban Chicago retirement home appears to be spreading with two new cases in the nearby community.
Legionnaire's is a flu-like illness contracted when infected water vapor is inhaled. The elderly and people with weakened immune systems can be particularly susceptible.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 12 cases at Covenant Assisted Living in Batavia through August. The two new cases were reported in recent days.
State officials say the retirement home plans to clean its water systems, including cooling towers that release water drops into the air.
The agency's director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, says there could be additional cases, even with corrective measures.
Illinois reported over 500 cases of Legionnaires' disease in 2018.