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LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — There has been such a focus on COVID testing that a Lake County family fears doctors could be missing other potential problems.

Tyler Mattson thought doctors would be able to figure out what was wrong with him rather quickly. But it took more than a week. His fever spiked to 104.7 at one point.

“I basically felt like a goldfish out of its tank. I was gasping for air,” he said.

Doctors tested him for coronavirus four times and it always came back negative.

What they thought was COVID turned out to be Legionnaires’ disease.

The Centers for Disease Control sent out a warning about a bacteria that could be on the rise due to the pandemic shutdowns.

The CDC warned about Legionnaires’ disease and mold last month. They fear the prolonged closure of buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to an increase of Legionnaires’ disease.

Lake County is now sending out the same warning as businesses re-open after months of being shut down. They advise businesses to do some maintenance on the water plumbing systems.

So far, only a couple of cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported in Lake County during the pandemic – but they are ready for the possibility of more.

Mattson is improving but his full recovery could take up to a year. He is not exactly sure how he got Legionnaires’ disease.

The Lake County Public Health Department has started an investigation.

As far as the state of Illinois, 2019 saw a rise of Legionnaires. So far for 2020, the number sits at 74.

That means for right now they have not seen a spike due to the pandemic but it is one to watch.

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