NewsFlint Water Crisis


Officials warn residents about Legionnaires'

Posted at 4:38 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2021-01-14 15:59:46-05

With the warm weather upon us, state health officials are warning Flint residents about Legionnaires' disease.

While health officials continue to investigate a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County, residents are asked to be on the look out for symptoms of the respiratory condition.

Warm weather and warm water are breeding grounds for the Legionella bacteria.

Eighty-seven cases were recorded from Spring of 2014 to Fall of 2015. Nine cases were fatal.

Those most at risk are:

  • People 50 years and older
  • Current and former smokers
  • Those with a weakened immune system

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • High fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Pneumonia

Jim Henry is with the Genesee County Health Department. He said, "We are one of the first health departments in the country to look at the distribution system as the source and try to identify it there."

Officials have not named the Flint river water as the cause, but they continue to investigate it, even after they switched their water source.

"One of the concerns that we have is the integrity of the distribution system and the organic carbon which came from the river water is still in the system, so the organic carbon is food for the bacteria."

And you can't get Legionnaires' diseases from person to person or by drinking the water.

If you have pneumonia-like symptoms - you're being asked to contact your physician.