DETROIT (WWJ) – New results are coming in from Flint water system tests, and the first findings show some level of Legionella in a small percentage of the homes tested. By the end, 284 homes will be tested; about one-third of those have already been tested.
Dr. Shawn McElmurry is the lead investigator on the study conducted by the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership, and he says residents should continue to follow the advice of their public health department.
“We are starting to get results back – we are finding some levels of Legionella – right now as best we can tell those levels are in the range that is normally encountered in other areas,” said McElmurry.
He says affected residents have been notified and they should continue to use their water filters, which also helps to prevent exposure to lead, and flush their water systems.
The Department of Health and Human Services said in early 2016 that it couldn’t conclude that the increase in Legionnaires’ is related to the water crisis Flint, where drinking supplies became contaminated with lead after the city began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014.
At least 91 Legionnaires’ cases were detected in 2014 and 2015, including 12 deaths. Some experts blame Flint’s water, which wasn’t treated at the time to reduce corrosion. The attorney general’s office is investigating
A comparative chart officials provided shows only 21 cases reported in all of 2012 and 2013.