MDHHS issues report on Legionnaires in Genesee

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 16:00:45-05

THe Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has released its report regarding the increase of Legionnaires' disease (LD) in Genesee County during 2015.

According to the MDHHS, they "cannot conclude that the increase is related to the water switch in Flint" nor can they "rule out a possible association at this time."

According to the MDHHS, there were 42 cases of LD reported in Genesee County from May 2015 through October 2015. 

Original data showed three deaths related to Legionnaires in that time period, but according to the MDHHS, additional case information raised the number to four.

The state also released a report from June 2014 to March 2015 where 45 LD cases were confirmed in Genesee County with five associated deaths. An earlier report identified seven deaths during that time period.

In all, the MDHHS said the total number of deaths due to Legionnaires is now nine because some of the cases occurred outside of the 30 day window. Legionella related deaths are defined as fatalities that occurred within 30 days of hospital discharge.

There are 87 confirmed cases between June 2014 and November 2015, according to the MDHHS. Of those, 31 people received Flint water, while 26 had no known exposure to a Flint hospital on the city of Flint water system two weeks prior to their illness nor were their homes on Flint water. Other possible exposures were evaluated with no known community exposures.

Legionella is a is a type of bacteria that is best found in warm water areas. When exposed to the bacteria, it can cause Legionellosis, a respiratory disease that can infect the lungs and cause pneumonia.