Test found Legionella bacteria at McLaren Flint

Posted: 4:49 PM, Jan 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-23 01:45:10Z

Officials at McLaren Flint regional hospital are confirming that low levels of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' Disease has been found in early tests of their water supply.

The test was from August of 2014 and the hospital says that safeguards have since been put into place, and that they have determined no tests have determined that McLaren is the source of any cases of Legionnaires' Disease.

The official statement from the hospital reads as follows:

As part of routine practice and procedures at our hospital, we continuously test and monitor our water system to ensure safety and quality of our water supply.

After the City of Flint switched to the Flint River as its water source in April of 2014, we noticed an increase in the number of Legionella cases that were coming to McLaren for treatment, as well as those being reported across the county and at other hospitals.  Because of that concern, and concern over the quality of water that we were receiving from the city, we began aggressively testing our water supply. An early test result indicated the presence of a low level of legionella. As soon as this was identified, McLaren Flint put immediate measures in place that were successful in controlling the situation. We have taken additional measures to safeguard the quality of our water system even more, including by installing a secondary water disinfectant system throughout the entire facility at a cost of  $300,000.  We have also installed lead filters on water and ice machines and continue to aggressively test and monitor our water system.  All legionella and lead testing continues to show that the McLaren Flint water supply is well within safety and quality standards.

It is important to note that no tests have ever determined that McLaren is the source of exposure for any patients testing positive for the Legionella antigen, and that there is no definitive data to support that McLaren Flint is the source of exposure for any patient testing positive for the Legionella antigen.

Regardless, throughout the change in the city’s water source from Lake Huron water to the Flint River and back again, we have remained vigilant and proactive in addressing all measures to ensure the quality of the water supply and assure patient safety at our facility.

Flint saw a spike in Legionnaires' cases after the city switched to the Flint River to supply their water.