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Official Defends How State Handled Legionnaires' Cases In Veterans' Home

The head of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs is defending the state’s handling of multiple cases of Legionnaires’ disease at a downstate veterans’ home after a WBEZ investigation. Eleven families are suing the state after their loved ones died during a 2015 outbreak of Legionnaires’ at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. More residents got sick there in 2016 and more this past fall. Erica Jeffries, the head of the agency that oversees the veterans’ home, says it keeps happening because the home is testing for Legionnaires’ so rigorously. She says the state has spent more than $6 million to upgrade the veterans’ home water treatment system.

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