Email: Snyder's office aware of possible link between water and Legionnaires' spike in March 2015

- An internal email shows that officials in Gov. Snyder's office were aware of a spike in Legionnaires' disease potentially linked to the water crisis long before the governor reported the increase to the public last month.

An email dated March 13, 2015 shows Brad Wurfel of the DEQ saying, "In December, our staff became peripherally aware that the hospitals in Genesee were seeing an uptick in Legionnaires cases. ... [Jim Henry with the Genesee County Health] made the leap formally in his email that the uptick in cases is directly attributable to the river as a drinking water source."

That email was sent to Harvey Hollins, who is the Director of Urban Initiatives at Office of the Governor of Michigan.

Gov. Snyder told FOX 2 on January 13, 2016, that "in terms of the spike, in terms of the specific numbers, I was told about this a couple days ago and I thought it should be shared, as part of this whole process," Snyder said.

Taking a closer look at the numbers, 119 cases of Legionnaires' Disease have been reported in Genesee County since 2011. Here's how those numbers break down:

2011: 11 cases
2012: 13 cases
2013: 8 cases
2014: 45 cases
2015: 42 cases

The city switched its water source in 2014.

You can read more about what Legionnaires' disease is here. It is not caused by drinking infected water, but rather is contracted from breathing in the mist or vapor of the infected water. 

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates. 

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