New public health initiative announced in Flint

- Officials are announcing a new partnership Thursday that will help the community cope with the fallout from the toxic water. The partnership is between Michigan State University and Hurley Children's Hospital and is lead by Mona Hanna-Attisha MD MPH FAAP, Director, Pediatric Residency at Hurley Children's Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at MSU College of Human Medicine. The partnership plans to help the children and families who have been exposed to lead.

You can watch a replay of the announcement in the video player below or by clicking here. FOX 2's Robin Murdoch will have more details on FOX 2 News' Live at Eleven. 

Research from Dr. Hanna-Attisha, the lone doctor who sounded the alarm about Flint's water crisis, showed that Flint's children had two to three times the level of lead in their blood after the city switched to Flint water.

And those levels can be severe.

Lead exposure impacts behavior as well, causing attention deficit, hyperactivity and conduct disorders.

But the doctor says there is some hope. Not every child will exhibit all of these problems and that there are things that can be done now. Those who may be affected are advised to see your doctor, get a blood test and monitor for developmental delays.

Nutrition can make a big difference. A diet high in Iron, Calcium and Vitamin C can help promote the excretion and limit the absorption of lead.

The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics have repeatedly said that there is no safe level of lead in a child.

In addition to higher lead levels, Gov. Snyder announced Wednesday a spike in Legionnaires' Disease in Genesee County since Flint switched its water source. You can read more about Legionnaires' Disease here.

State officials say they can't make a direct connection between the water issue and the spike in the disease, but water experts say the rise in cases certainly shows there is a likelihood the water did play a role. 

For more information, or to support the Flint Child Health & Development Fund, visit www.flintkids.com


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