At Least 4 Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease Under Investigation at Advocate Christ Hospital: IDPH

IDPH said it was working with the hospital to collect information on the cases, but its investigation is “currently limited to this hospital"

Illinois health officials are investigating multiple cases of Legionnaires’ disease linked to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said it was investigating four cases of the disease with each person having visited the prominent hospital. Two of those people visited the hospital in the last two months, officials said.

IDPH said it was working with the hospital to collect information on the cases, but its investigation is “currently limited to this hospital.”

Water samples to test for Legionella bacteria have been collected from the hospital, the officials said. The bacteria are transmitted through drops of water and can cause serious lung infections and possibly death. The bacteria mixes with the air in showers or fountains, and can cause illness when inhaled.

Officials said the hospital was urged to alert potentially affected families and patients and to help identify any other potential cases.

Advocate Christ Hospital said in statement its "top priority is to provide the safest and highest quality care for the patients and communities we serve." 

"We are working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health on its review. Our facility is safe for our patients, visitors and team members," the statement read.

This marks the third time in the last two months the disease has been reported at a Chicago-area hospital. 

Last month, IDPH launched an investigation after two patients at the University of Chicago Medical Center were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease. In April, two cases of the disease were being investigated at Mercy Hospital.

The lung infection is fatal in approximately one of every 10 cases, according to CDC research.

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