February 12, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Don Kooy, president of McLaren Hospital, and experts say that they suspect the Flint River as the source of Legionella bacteria that were found in the hospital’s water system over a year ago. Kooy was surprised that, although the bacteria were discovered over a year ago, the health agencies did not inform the public of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Genesee County until just a few weeks ago.  Flint residents’ complaints of dirty tap water had been going on for some time, but little information was provided to the public. “It’s a public health issue,” said Kooy. “There were people in…

February 11, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

53 pages of e-mails released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) shows the concern over water quality in Genesee County and the potential of Legionnaires’ disease. The MDHHS was aware of the spike in Legionnaires’ disease cases in Genessee County since at least October 2014.  From the e-mails, it appears that the Genesee County Health Department was going to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rather than communicating with the state health department. A February 2015 e-mail from Shannon Johnson of the MDHHS shows the state health department’s frustrations over seven months of trying to…

February 5, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Portuguese researchers published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 4, 2016 suggesting that they have found a case in which Legionella bacteria were transmitted person-to-person. The case involves a 48-year-old man who works as a maintenance worker at an industrial cooling tower complex.  He became infected with Legionella pneumophila in October 2014 and was one of the first cases involved in a cluster of cases in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal. The man lived with his 74-year-old mother and when he developed respiratory symptoms including severe cough, she took care of him.  Approximately two weeks later, the…

January 22, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

(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…

January 19, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

        The health crisis that developed over the past year in Flint, Michigan has been widely publicized due to it’s devastating impact on the population of the city, and the clear missteps taken by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) when implementing the switch from Lake Huron to the Flint River as a source of water. The corrosive water of the Flint River deteriorated old lead water systems resulting in a rush of contaminated water to the Flint population. Since then, a spike in Legionnaires’ disease cases, lead poisoning, and numerous other health issues have been major concerns prompting…

January 11, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Corey Gutwasser, a 25-year-old in Lakeville, Minnesota is out of his medically induced coma that he was put in last month due to Legionnaires’ disease. According to the University of Minnesota Medical Center, he was exposed to Legionella bacteria in November and was put on life support in December, but is now in stable condition. Gutwasser’s mother, Melanie Buetow, said that her son will need physical rehabilitation to relearn how to talk and eat. The Minnesota Department of Health conducted an investigation and cited Babe’s Bar and Grill in Lakeville as a potential source of Gutwasser’s Legionnaires’ disease.  Gutwasser worked at…