The first case of Legionnaires’ disease this year has been reported in the Flint, MI area. The news comes less than a week after county officials issued a statement saying that no new cases of Legionnaires’ disease had been reported in Flint’s county in 2016.
In a statement released on June 30, the Genesee County Health Department stated that no residents of the area have contracted the disease in 2016. On July 6, however, officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that a patient from the Genesee County area had been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. The condition of the patient, who is over 65, is unknown.
Officials have found no connection between the patient and the area near Flint affected by contaminated water, and the case does not appear to be part of an outbreak. Still, the disclosure of the disease is another setback for the embattled public health officials of the Flint area. The rising temperatures of summer bring increased danger of Legionnaires’ disease, as Legionella bacteria thrive in warmer temperatures.
Officials are wary of a return of the 2014-15 outbreak that sickened scores of Flint residents and claimed twelve lives. After the city’s water supply was switched from the contaminated Flint River to Lake Huron, fewer public health issues have been reported, but scientists have not been able to confirm or deny that the Flint River was the source of the problem.
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Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.