LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has released emails between its epidemiologists and Genesee County Health Department officials regarding a spike in cases of Legionnaires' disease in the county in 2014.
Flint is under a state of emergency because of lead-tainted water. Outside experts also have suggested a link between the Flint River and a Legionnaires' disease outbreak. There were at least 87 cases across Genesee County during a 17-month period, including nine deaths.
The city's water supply was switched from the Detroit system to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure in 2014, when Flint was under state-appointed emergency management. It was an interim measure while a new pipeline to Lake Huron is being built. But the improperly treated river water caused lead to leach from old pipes.
"Recent comments in the media are inconsistent with the collaboration that has taken place between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Genesee County Health Department. MDHHS is releasing some of its earliest email conversations between its epidemiologists and the Genesee County Health Department regarding legionella cases," the MDHHS said in a statement.
View the emails below or here.
Legionnaires' disease is a pneumonia caused by bacteria in the lungs. People get sick if they inhale mist or vapor from contaminated water systems, hot tubs or cooling systems.
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