Chicago health officials see spike in Legionnaire’s cases; Nearly 50 reported in July

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CHICAGO — Health officials in Chicago announced Friday they are tracking an uptick in Legionnaire’s disease.

In the first three weeks of July, the Chicago Department of Public Health said 49 cases have been reported. It is an increase from 16 cases last year and 13 in 2019, during the same time period.

Among the 49 people with Legionnaires’ disease, 15 were admitted to the ICU and two individuals died.
CDPH said when buildings are shut down for long period of times, as seen with the coronavirus pandemic, the legionella bacteria can grow and multiply in water systems.

Officials also said weather patterns including temperature, humidity, and precipitation have been shown to be associated with increased Legionnaires’ disease.

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To date, there have been no common sources of infection.

The department is investigating.

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