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 26, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

        Since beginning the investigation into the Flint Water Crisis, Governor Snyder has assembled a Flint Water Advisory Task Force which has advised and implemented strategies to combat the outbreak and administer aid where needed. This has been very important to the recovery of the city, but the task force has also issued warnings about the future. Last Friday, Gov. Snyder’s task force predicted a rise in the number of Legionnaires’ disease cases in the Spring. Legionella bacteria thrive in warmer temperatures, and the transition from Winter to Spring could be a catalyst for Legionella proliferation Mark Bashore did…

January 21, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Florida Hospital Orlando’s water system is undergoing remediation after testing positive for Legionella bacteria last week. So far, no patients at the hospital have tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease.  Hospital officials also said that the hospital’s water is safe to drink. At-risk patients of the hospital are being tested for Legionella and hospital staff have been instructed to take extra measures to prevent vulnerable patients from contracting Legionnaires’ disease. Florida Hospital Orlando’s most recent incident with the pneumonia-causing bacteria occurred in late 2015 when a patient tested positive for Legionella. To read more about this story, please click here.

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…

January 7, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

School officials in Elgin, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, are considering a more intensive Legionella testing schedule after three schools were shut down due to the bacteria last year. The Elgin Courier-News found that Essential Water Technologies, the water treatment company for School District U-46, recommended quarterly Legionella testing for cooling towers.  School officials want even more stringent testing schedules to err on the side of caution; however, no timeline is set. In September 2015, three schools and an administration center in the Elgin were shut down due to high levels of Legionella in cooling towers.  3,000 students were evacuated. To read more about…