8 cases of Legionnaires' reported at Batavia retirement community

BATAVIA, Ill. -- Eight cases of Legionnaires' disease have been reported since August at a retirement community in west suburban Batavia.

The four latest cases at Covenant Living at the Holmstad, 700 W. Fabyan Parkway in Batavia, were reported to health officials this week, according to a statement from the Kane County Department of Public Health.

"Two cases were reported to us this week, we received word of an early-onset case from mid-August and an additional case reported this past Saturday," Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barbara Jeffers said in a statement on Monday. "We are working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Covenant Living to monitor this situation."

The announcement came more than a week after an Aug. 31 statement announcing four initial cases of Legionnaires' at the facility, health officials said.

Amanda Gosnell, executive director of the facility, said testing by the Illinois Department of Public Health is still pending to determine whether there's a source of legionella bacteria on the Holmstad campus.

"Because the safety of our residents, guests, and employees is our top priority, we have proactively and aggressively moved forward with several of the measures that could potentially be advised in the event of a positive result," Gosnell said in the statement. "We continue to collaborate closely with water management experts and state and the Kane County health departments and are following all recommendations; under their advisement, we continue to welcome visitors and maintain regular operations."

Legionella bacteria are transmitted through water droplets in the air and can cause serious lung infections and death.

Illinois saw 512 reported cases of Legionnaires' disease statewide in 2018, with 219 confirmed so far this year, the health department said.