Health official: Legionnaires' disease deaths could have been pr - WNEM TV 5

Health official: Legionnaires' disease deaths could have been prevented

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Source: CNN Source: CNN

Ten people in Flint have died in what's being called one of the worst outbreaks of legionnaires in the U.S.

Jim Henry with the Genesee County Health Department said those deaths could have been prevented.

Henry said he reached out to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention a year ago to help them find the source of Legionella.

"We expected that we would have a team of people that would help us identify the source of this bacteria, the source of illness to stop it," Henry said.

But that help didn't come, even though the CDC offered it.

The CDC sent TV5 this statement saying in part:

"Based on the available information, CDC felt that a comprehensive investigation was warranted and offered to further assist Michigan by providing support from Atlanta or in Michigan.

An official request must be submitted from the state. In this case, Michigan felt that they had the skills and resources needed to perform the investigation themselves."

Michigan did not invite the CDC to investigate the outbreak, despite the CDC's recommendation.

"Our team was angry, it was an intentional and deliberate method to prevent us from doing our job," Henry said.

When asked if the Michigan Department of Community health knew about the spike in Legionnaires’ disease long before it was announced, Gov. Rick Snyder said, "Again there are challenges in that agency also and that's something we are making a review of."

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