Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Disease Outbreak at Quincy Veteran's Home

Illinois lawmakers are holding a hearing on the Legionnaires disease outbreak at the Quincy Veteran's Home.

Legislators are questioning state officials about the how, what and when of the deadly outbreak that has killed 13 people since 2015. They're also looking at solutions to prevent more deaths such as replacing all the pipes in the home since the bacteria can be found in plumbing.

Others have suggested moving residents, which Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs director Erica Jeffries says poses problems, especially for those with dementia.

Democratic State Senator Michael Hastings praised the leaders of the public health and veterans' affairs departments - but he questioned what more they could be doing.
"If one more person dies, are we gonna say, 'Ok well we'll give it another week and then if someone else dies then maybe we'll figure something else out.' When is enough, enough?"

Several options are being discussed such as replacing all the plumbing in the Quincy facility at an estimated cost of 25 to 30 million dollars. Officials say they are following all of the water treatment protocols outlined by the CDC and continue to look at other solutions.

Some other lawmakers said they would support finding the money to build a new facility on the campus of the veterans' home in western Illinois.

Eleven families who lost a loved one in a 2015 outbreak are suing the state for neglect - and there were more outbreaks in 2016 and 2017.