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Legionnaires’ disease results in 7 deaths in veterans’ home

The number of elderly victims who have died from Legionnaires’ disease in a Quincy, Illinois veterans’ home has risen to seven. First made public last week, the outbreak of the deadly type of pneumonia was found to have infected seven individuals who died on Monday and Tuesday.

The disease is caused by inhaling bacteria that causes lung inflammation and cannot be transmitted by human contact.  A total of 39 cases have been reported in the veterans’ home but officials predict an increase in those infected and the number of fatalities, as the disease has an incubation period of two weeks.

Those most at risk for the disease include elderly individuals over the age of 50 with preexisting medical conditions, which all seven victims suffered from.  Officials at the veterans’ home have begun taking precautions to prevent further spread of the disease, including cleaning water tanks and using bottled water.