Durbin pledges US help to end Legionnaires’ crisis

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has pledged federal support for fixing problematic water supplies at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy where Legionnaires’ disease has claimed 13 lives since 2015.

The Illinois Democrat said after a tour Friday that he no longer supports closing the facility, which houses about 400 veterans and their spouses. He suggests replacing decades-old plumbing where federal health officials found the same Legionella bacteria that was responsible for the deaths two years ago.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner took a room at the home Wednesday night and plans to stay several days to study operations. He has not spoken publicly since arriving.

Federal health officials issued a report Friday that says it might be impossible to eliminate the bacteria and recommended additional steps to stop its spread.