October 23, 2016

Legionnaires Disease Kills 10 in Flint, Michigan Since Water Change

Legionnaires BacteriaTen people have died and 77 others have been sickened by Legionnaires Disease in Flint, Michigan and the the surrounding area since June 2014, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced this week.  The spike in illnesses began two months after the city of Flint changed its water supply to the Flint River in a money-saving move, but health department officials say it’s too early to tell if the two are related. One reason health officials say they cannot directly link the cases to the water change in Flint is that they don’t have isolates from case patients.

“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 with the MDHHS. “We are releasing this report and continuing surveillance and investigations to ensure that appropriate actions are being taken to protect the health of the residents of Flint.”

From June 2014 to March 2015, there were 45 confirmed cases of Legionnaires Disease, seven of them resulted in fatalities. From May 2015 through November 2015, 42 cases were reported, of those, three were fatalities. Those sickened ranged in age from 26–94.

Legionnaires’ Disease, which does not spread from person-to person, causes pneumonia-like symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue, confusion, aches and lung inflammation. It develops when water mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria is inhaled. The source of contaminated water mist can be showers, faucets, whirlpools, swimming pools, fountains or cooling towers in air conditioning systems.

Between 8,000 and 18,000 Americans are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ Disease. each year.  The condition is so-named because it was first discovered when an outbreak of pneumonia struck an American Legion convention in 1976.


  1. I cannot believe that government officials would have such a lack of humanity. I don’t know how this can be described as anything but criminal. People need to go to jail for this, this is beyond law, these are human rights violations.

  2. Jeannie Schreckengost says:

    And also in the Chicago area! ( after their water system was also “updated”). Just a coincidence?? I think NOT!! Wake up and take some responsibility!! You are killing people!

  3. m siwicki says:

    NYC co-op associated LDB outbreak, cooling towers? See Flint Michigan, see numerous comments w/in Link-In discussion groups during last summers NYC outbreak, see the CDC’s own comments released during the height of the NYC investigation. Who benefits most from deflection of blame to cooling towers and away from the NYC drinking water distribution network as the ULTIMATE source? The majority of the co-op cases probably contacted from their residence’s domestic hot water systems via showerheads. The DHWS is initially inoculated by the buildings drinking water supply and then multiplies w/I’m the DHWS due to conducive growth conditions until an infective threshold number is exceeding whereupon disease begins to occur. These basic tenets of LDB control have been common knowledge since the mid 80’s, so why do our elected officials conveniently ignore this information?

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