in on (UTC).
The Illinois Veterans Home confirmed another diagnosis of Legionnaires' disease on its campus Tuesday. The resident was taken to the hospital over the weekend and has since been released. "We're glad the resident is doing well," said Dave MacDonna, Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs spokesman, "but we're highly concerned. We're following everything the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is telling us to do." The most recent Legionnaires' case comes after two Illinois Veterans Home residents were diagnosed with the disease last month. One resident died, and the other recovered. MacDonna described a state of "high alert" at the home, in which any resident who displays symptoms is tested regularly and rigorously and hospitalized if symptoms continue to progress. "If there are any symptoms, we're taking immediate action so we don't have the most terrible thing happen," he said. The Veterans Home underwent a nearly $5 million rehabilitation of its water treatment plant in summer 2015 after Legionnaires' disease sickened 53 people there and led to 12 deaths. Three other residents were sickened during another outbreak last year, less than a month after the new water treatment plant and delivery system were unveiled in June 2016. "The number of cases nationwide is growing each year," MacDonna said. MacDonna believes the spike in Legionnaires' diagnoses could be due, in part, to the increase in testing for the pneumonia-like disease. The CDC reported 6,000 cases in 2015. Illinois sees about 300 cases each year. "We cannot get rid of Legionella," MacDonna said, "so we have to be on high alert all the time." Older populations are among the more susceptible to the disease. Veterans Home Administrator Troy Culbertson told The Herald-Whig after last month's cases that the Veterans Home's water is tested 500 times a week across the campus and "all of our results have been negative." MacDonna said the home has done everything it can since the 2015 outbreak to curb the number of Legionnaires' cases it sees on its campus.
Two new cases of Legionnaires' disease were confirmed Monday at the Illinois Veterans Home. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that both patients who have symptoms are residents of the home. Health officials believe they caught the illness early and that the patients are doing well. "Because of the heightened awareness of Legionella bacteria, the staff is very cognizant of the situation" and is looking for any symptoms, said IDPH spokeswoman Melanie Arnold. More than 60 residents and staff at the home have been sickened and 13 have died since the first and most serious outbreak occurred in 2015. Two hearings on the home's efforts to safeguard residents have been held by Illinois legislators this year after 10 families filed lawsuits against the state of Illinois. After a lab confirmed the new cases, the home's engineering staff immediately removed faucets and mixing valves from the rooms of those who have been exposed to Legionella bacteria. Water samples have been collected in those rooms to check for the bacteria. "Staff also increased water temperatures and flushed fixtures to provide an enhanced level of protection for residents," Arnold said in a release. After an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease led to 12 deaths and sickened 53 people in 2015, the Quincy facility got a $6.4 million water treatment system to eliminate Legionella and other bacteria. Water coming to the Veterans Home campus from the Quincy water mains is treated with additional chemicals. The water also is heated to kill bacteria before it is cooled in mixing valves at individual facets to avoid scalding. Filters on shower heads have been installed. All of those water safety efforts were launched at the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently called for the installation of filters on individual faucets as well. In addition, residents of the home are visited by staff members daily to check for fever or other signs of illness. Anybody with symptoms of Legionnaires' disease is then tested and results are obtained within hours from a local facility. "We're doing everything we can. We're being very diligent with the outbreak," Arnold said. Gov. Bruce Rauner spent a week at the home last month. He established a task force to consider completely new water systems and the construction of new buildings to eliminate the Legionella problem. State Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, who has led hearings on the outbreaks has blamed Rauner for the problem. "While the governor continues to live in a fantasy world, creating bureaucratic task forces and dodging requests for information, two more of our nation's heroes have tested positive for Legionnaires' disease," Cullerton said Tuesday. "Gov. Bruce Rauner has failed our veterans once again. Our nation's heroes need a solution now. They cannot afford to wait another three years for the governor to finally do his job." Adams County Public Health Administrator Jerrod Welch gave testimony about the response to Legionella bacteria outbreaks during a public hearing in front of lawmakers last week in Springfield. Welch said that before 2015, the community averaged one case of Legionella annually. Additional cases were detected in 2015 in addition to those at the Veterans Home as the Health Department asked local health providers to look out for Legionnaires' disease after the second case was diagnosed at the Veterans Home. "Within that context, we detected additional community-level cases that we were not able to attribute back to the Illinois Veterans Home," Welch said. "In retrospect, after months of investigation, some of those cases were attributed to other outbreaks in other communities. We had what we would say is four cases in the community that we did not have attributable to any specific cause during that time frame." Arnold said Legionella bacteria is ubiquitous. It can cause pneumonia, but the illness can be treated more effectively with medications that might not otherwise be prescribed for pneumonia. "The state has about 300 cases of Legionella throughout the year, but Legionella is probably underreported,"
The government in Guatemala has stopped the search for survivors of the deadly volcano eruption. Right now the death toll stands at 99 with nearly 200 people still unaccounted for, Fox News reported. CBS News reported the search suspension is due to toxic gases and hot ash covering the area, making it too dangerous for rescue crews to continue their search of the Escuintla area. Many families have lost everything but the worst part is searching for those relatives who are unaccounted for. Despite the danger they face from lava engulfing their area, many are not leaving their homes. Some are afraid of looters taking what they have left, CBS News reported. The government in Guatemala has stopped the search for survivors of the deadly volcano eruption. Right now the death toll stands at 109 with nearly 200 people still unaccounted for. New evacuations have been ordered Friday after officials said that volcanic material, water and sediment have flowed through the four canyons area. Now, those living in El Rodeo have been told to leave, despite recently returning to the area.
Despite the recent announcement, communities on the banks of the Cauca River are considered at highest risk. Evacuations continue as Colombian emergency crews enter the scene of the Ituango hydroelectric plant after authorities lowered their advisories from red to orange, Tunja firefighters report. Despite the recent announcement, communities on the banks of the Cauca River are considered at highest risk to the effects of the construction scene of the country's largest hydroelectric plant which was subject to severe tremors this May. However, the region has launched various initiatives to assist in the return to normalcy. Construction on the three-year project began again Sunday, June 17, raising the height of the dam from 235 meters to 415 meters above sea level. Over 20,000 people participated in 19 evacuation drills and 163 workshops led by the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management who have also installed numerous warning systems into the affected municipalities. Although 30 shelters are in use to host the 3,200 families, the Ministry of Education and the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) announced its support and called for the Department of Education to double its stabilization efforts and have classrooms available for the first week of July, in line with the normal school calendar. The tremors detected during the early hours of May 7 led to some damage to structures in the area where the US$4 billion power plant is being built. It also caused "a total blockage in the tunnel" that diverts the Cauca River, the second largest tributary channel in the country, during the works. According to a report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Tuesday, Colombia was found to host some 7.7 million internally displaced persons, one of the highest figures in the world. The U.N. stated the reason is primarily due to a large amount of internal armed conflicts, however over 25,000 have been forced from their homes as a result of the state's ambitious dam design.
After two prolonged seismic crises with earthquakes up to M5.3, the Sierra Negra volcano entered a new eruptive phase with strong fountaining and multiple lava flows on Tuesday 26 June 2018 - the first volcanic activity since its last eruption in 2005. A recent seismic crisis represents the culmination of about 2 years of steady increase in seismic activity beneath the volcano (read our 14 June 2018 news update here). The Geophysical Institute of Ecuador (IGEPN) reported a M5.3 earthquake occurred beneath the volcano at a depth of about 5.3 km at 03h15 Galapagos Time (TG). This earthquake was preceded by a M3 event at 3h10 and followed by a series of aftershocks of magnitude 3 -4, all of which were felt in the village of Puerto Villamil, 20 km SE of the volcano. After a short pause, a new swarm of earthquakes started at 11h17 TG, at depths between 3 and 5 km and magnitudes up to 4.6. This seismic unrest continued until around 13h38 TG a change in the seismicity was observed with increasing amplitudes between the seismic and infrasound signal, indicating the onset of a new eruption. This new eruptive phase was quickly confirmed by a GOES-16 satellite image showing a strong anomaly of heat in the northern area of the volcano's caldera, suggesting the presence of lava flows in this area. Subsequent eye witness reports from the Galapagos National Park employees indicate that some lava flows are running into the caldera but that there is also lava flowing towards the north flank in the direction of Bahia Elizabeth. A tall ash column moving in westerly direction was also observed. First images of this eruptive phase were soon shared on social media, showing lava fountains from newly opened fissures which create multiple rivers of lava flowing towards the ocean. Sierra Negra is a large basaltic shield volcano with a 9 km by 7 km caldera located on Isabela, the largest island of the Galapagos. At least 250 people have already been evacuated from communities in the immediate vicinity of the volcano. All tourist and school activities near the volcano have been suspended according to Secretary of Risk Management, Alexandra Ocles, who said the eruption is currently moderate. This eruption starts only 10 days after the youngest and most active Galapagos volcano, Cerro la Cumbra on the neigbouring, uninhabited, island of Fernandina, started a new fissure eruption with fountaining and lava flows that quickly reached the ocean.