Legionnaires’ disease death toll rises to 10 in Quincy

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Ten people in western Illinois now have died from Legionnaires’ disease after a state veterans home reported two new fatalities among its residents.

An outbreak first identified in late August has sickened 53 residents at the Quincy home, nine of whom died. Four others in Quincy have been diagnosed with the illness, one of whom died. Officials say those cases aren’t connected to the larger outbreak.

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday that it planned to disinfect the home’s water systems with chlorine. An agency spokesman could not immediately answer why that step had not been taken sooner.

Residents of the veterans home continue to rely on bottled water and sponge baths as a precaution. The disease is mostly contracted through inhaling bacteria that thrives in warm water.