MDHHS releases final report on Legionnaires' disease, 9 confirme - WNEM TV 5


MDHHS releases final report on Legionnaires' disease, 9 confirmed deaths

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reporting an increase of Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County during the summers of 2014 and 2015.

In a press release from the department, the MDHHS said it could not conclude that the increase was related to Flint’s ongoing water crisis, but the state is “treating this situation with the same urgency and transparency as the lead response.”

The department released some of its data relating to the increase:

  • June 2014 to March 2015
    • 45 cases confirmed
    • 5 deaths
  • May 2015 to Nov. 2015
    • 42 cases confirmed
    • 4 deaths

Those affected were anywhere from 26- to 94-years-old.

On Jan. 21, the MDHHS released their updated data. In total, nine people died from June 2014 to Nov. 2015 associated with Legionella.

MDHHS chief medical executive Dr. Eden Wells said she and the department are concerned about the increase.

“While Legionellosis cases are not uncommon, we are concerned about the increase in cases seen in Genesee County,” Wells said. “We are releasing this report and continuing surveillance and investigations to ensure that appropriate actions are being taken to protect the health of the residents of Flint.”

Also part of the Jan. 21 data, of the 87 confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease, 35.6 percent of people received Flint water to their home. Nearly 30 percent were not on Flint water or had exposure to a Flint hospital 30 days before their illness.

MDHHS informed hospitals in Genesee County of the increase in cases in January 2015.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is consulting with state and local health departments monitoring the increase of Legionnaires' disease.

The MDHHS said they will be enhancing surveillance in 2016.

>>READ MORE: MDHHS report on Legionnaires' disease<<

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