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Legionnaires' disease confirmed by health department at McHenry Villa

The Illinois Department of Public Health, in coordination with the McHenry County Health Department, confirmed Thursday three cases of Legionnaires’ disease at McHenry Villa.

Residents and staff members of the independent senior-living community, 3516 Waukegan Road, have all been notified of these cases.

All three patients had outside exposure to the disease, according to the IDPH. Two of the three may have been exposed at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital, according to the IDPH.

“Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from person to person,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah said in a statement. “IDPH is investigating possible sources, identifying individuals who may have been exposed and recommending remediation and prevention measures.”

Public health officials still are investigating other potential sources.

Northwestern Medicine media relations manager Michelle Green said the safety of patients, staff and visitors is the hospital’s highest priority.

“Within the last month, we completed a routine water test at our McHenry Hospital, and the results showed there was no Legionella pneumophila in the water,” Green said in a statement. “We do not believe our hospital was the site for this exposure.”

In October, IDPH identified the Johnsburg Walmart, 3801 Running Brook Farm Blvd., as a potential source of a cluster of McHenry and Lake County Legionnaires’ cases. In response, the department store replaced its sprinkler systems.

Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease are most commonly associated with buildings or structures with complex water systems such as hotels, hospitals or long-term care facilities.

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