In a follow-up to reports on the Legionnaires’ disease situation in Genesee County, Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Monday issued an updated summary for 2015. The update includes three additional LD cases (two deaths) identified since the last report.

Legionella pneumophila bacteria/CDC
Legionella pneumophila bacteria/CDC

“To date, 91 cases and 12 deaths have been identified in total for 2014 and 2015 in Genesee County,” said Eden Wells, M.D., Chief Medical Executive with the MDHHS. “We remain vigilant in identifying any potential case associated with the outbreak.”

All of the new cases were identified by MDHHS personnel from hospital testing data that was recently forwarded to the department. Of the three additional cases, two had not been appropriately reported to the public health system.  The third case was reported in a different jurisdiction and there was no epidemiologic information available to link it to the outbreak. MDHHS has provided additional guidance to the hospital to assist them in providing more accurate reporting moving forward.

The public health investigation has looked at a number of potential exposures that the ill people may have experienced, which included exposures to hospitals, water, and community venues. The investigation was able to identify a common source of exposure for 50 individuals (55 percent) of the 91 total confirmed cases, which is a hospital in Flint, Mich. that is served by the City of Flint municipal water system.  MDHHS cannot conclude that the increase is related to the water switch in Flint nor can we rule out a possible association at this time.

For the May 2015 to October 2015 time period, 46 LD cases and seven deaths have been confirmed in the Genesee County outbreak. Data previously indicated 43 cases and five LD-associated deaths for 2015. The number of cases for June 2014 through March 2015 time period remains unchanged with 45 LD cases confirmed, including five associated fatalities. There were no cases reported in April 2015.

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