Increase in common respiratory disease in Genesee Co. has MDHHS concerned

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – An increase of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) in Genesee County has the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services concerned.

From June 2014 – March 2015, there were 45 LD cases and from May 2015 – November 2015 there were 42 LD cases in Genesee County. Of these 87 cases, 10 people died all between the ages of 26-94.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the bacteria Legionella usually grows in warm water. Legionella bacteria causes Legionellosis, which is a respiratory disease. The disease can lead to a lung infection and pneumonia. Legionella bacteria cannot spread from one person to another.

“While Legionellosis cases are not uncommon, we are concerned about the increase in cases seen in Genesee County,” said Eden Wells, M.D., chief medical executive, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

At this time the MDHHS has not confirmed that the increase in Legionellosis cases is due to the Flint water supply. The MDHHS is concerned, however, due to the recent findings of lead in Flint’s water.

For more information on the Flint water emergency, visit www.michigan/gov/flintwater.

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