(Photo: Martha Thierry Detroit Free Press, Tribune News Service)
The Michigan Department of Health has made a recommendation to any media outlets reporting on the Flint water crisis to report that 9 people, not 10, died due to symptoms resulting from Legionnaires’ disease. This distinction is important because it helps to keep reporting factual, and reduces the ambiguity when determining the cause of death of the victims with comorbid health issues.
For example, an elderly gentleman with multiple health issues may contract Legionnaires’ disease and later pass away, but his passing may not have been specifically due to the Legionnaires’ disease. The notice that the Michigan Department of Health issued showed that 9 people conclusively died from Legionnaires’ Disease, while the remaining 1 person died from some other comorbid health issue.
By clarifying the cause of death for these individuals, the Michigan Health Department is helping to reduce any journalistic misrepresentation and prevent unnecessary uproar when discussing the number of victims in the Flint water crisis.
For further info, please see the Detroit Free Press article located: here