A late 2016 test conducted by the CDC has found a genetic link between samples of Legionella found in the phlegm of patients at McLaren Flint Hospital and Legionella found in water samples taken from multiple water sources at McLaren Flint Hospital. The CDC found that around 99% of the alleles of both samples matched, reaching the threshold for what is considered to be a genetic match.
McLaren Flint Hospital was at the epicenter of the 2014-2015 Flint Legionnaires’ Outbreak that corresponded with the much wider-known Flint Water Crisis. Of the 12 reported fatalities in the Flint-area, 10 fatalities were associated with McLaren Flint Hospital according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. However, a July 2016 Virginia Tech study has found high levels of Legionella in the tap water from large buildings all throughout the city of Flint. Tests conducted in large buildings in the neighboring Flint Township, which notably does not use the Flint River as a source of water, found no traces of Legionella.
These findings cast doubt on the previous assumption that the Legionnaires’ outbreak in Flint was solely associated with McLaren Flint Hospital, offering the possibility that the outbreak could have strong ties to