The head of a suburban Chicago school district that evacuated because Legionella was found says there is a lack of public health guidance for schools to help deal with the bacteria.

Elgin Area School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders tells the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that he didn't receive guidance from state or federal agencies on when it was safe to reopen schools and it "was incredibly frustrating.''

The district evacuated and shut three schools for three days last month after high levels of Legionella were found in water cooling towers.  


With a possible federal government shutdown on the horizon, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) says the consequences for his home state would be especially dire if it occurs while Illinois remains without a state budget.

“When we have government shutdown in Washington as we did several years ago, innocent people are going to suffer as a result of it,” Durbin said Friday, standing in front of military planes at Scott Air Force Base. “And we can certainly know the impact it’s going to have on some groups, not the least of which will be federal employees.”


Officials in Elgin say about 2,900 students were evacuated after higher-than-normal levels of Legionella bacteria were found in cooling towers at three schools.

School District U-46 spokeswoman Mary Fergus says the Wednesday morning evacuations affected Eastview Middle School, Larkin High School, Gifford High School and district offices located at Gifford. The levels were found during annual air quality testing of the schools' cooling towers. She says no students were ill.


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 says two more residents at its Quincy veterans home have been sickened by Legionnaires' disease, boosting the total number of people stricken in the outbreak to 52.

The veterans agency said Tuesday that while there have been two new cases, no residents of the 129-year-old facility have been hospitalized or treated for Legionnaires-like symptoms since Aug. 31.


School officials in Batavia have notified parents that the Legionella bacteria was detected through water analysis.  The bacteria was found at Alice Gustafson Elementary School, Batavia High School and Hoover-Wood Elementary School. In rare circumstances, these bacteria may cause Legionnaires’ disease in people with weak immune systems.