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Kristina Labanauskas
Kristina Labanauskas
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Chicago-area grocery store tested for Legionnaires’ bacteria

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Six cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported recently: five people in Tinley Park and one person in Orland Park. All people have been successfully treated and released from hospitals.

Three of those persons who contracted the disease reported shopping at EuroFresh Market, a Tinley Park grocery store located at 1600 Harlem Avenue. The Cook County Department of Public Health is awaiting the test results from the misting system water in the produce department, which results will take several weeks. The store is just one of many possible sources and is not being singled out, according a Cook County Department of Public Health spokesperson.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Legionnaires’ disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 5% to 30% of cases. However, most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics and healthy persons usually recover. Further, most people who come into contact with the bacteria do not get ill, and the bacteria are not spread from person to person.

The disease’s symptoms include high fever, muscle aches, coughing and headaches and can progress to a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, he said. Middle-age people and seniors are most at risk.

Legionnaire’s disease is caused by a naturally occurring type of bacteria called Legionella. The bacteria is found naturally in the environment and is typically transmitted through water, for example breathing in steam from a whirlpool spa that has not been properly cleaned and disinfected.