10th death connected to Legionairres outbreak in Genesee County

Another death was reported in connection to the Legionairres outbreak.

Another death is being blamed on the Legionnaires outbreak in the Flint area.

The outbreak has not been officially linked with the water crisis, but many believe it is only a matter of time.

The poisonous Flint water is deadly. All told between 2014 and 2015 bacteria found in the city's water supply has killed 10 people due to legionaries disease and sickened 88 more.

The latest fatality just announced by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, but doctors assure us this does not mean there is a new case, simply one that was overlooked.

"They went and looked at all the cases diagnosed in the state and linked them back to Genesee," said Dr. Eden Wells.

Here's what we know about this most recent confirmed death associated with Legionnares, the exposure happened between May and October of 2015. But was only confirmed now because this person lives in Shiawassee County but was later determined to be staying at a hospital in the Flint area when they contracted the disease.

The symptoms of Legionnares affect the respiratory system and could be mistaken for other illnesses - which could account for the delay in reporting this latest death.

"We've had no confirmed cases since October of 2015," Wells said. "That is reassuring. However, we need to have doctors on the lookout. We've actually sent out updated clinical guidance just this week to physicians in Genesee County as well as a modified version to all physicians across the state."

The bacteria associated with the disease grows in stagnant, tepid water. So if people aren't using the water, the greater the chances are that this disease could resurface.

But there is some progress being seen in the city's quest to return to normal.

"If we can keep good chlorine even up through the households, which is so important, we know that bacteria won't grow in those."

The hope from all involved is this will be the last update needed when it comes to the Legionnares outbreak.


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