LANSING (WWJ) – Three more cases of Legionnaires disease have been confirmed in the state — including two deaths.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services made the announcement Monday.READ MORE: Legislature Again OKs Tax Cuts; Whitmer Floats $500 Rebate
“To date, 91 cases and 12 deaths have been identified in total for 2014 and 2015 in Genesee County,” said Eden Wells, M.D., Chief Medical Executive with the MDHHS. “We remain vigilant in identifying any potential case associated with the outbreak.”
Of the three additional cases, two of them had not been reported to the public health department, officials said.READ MORE: 'Ride For Equity’ Detroit To Mackinaw City Raises Equitable Funding For Black Business Awareness
State health officials say they still cannot definitely conclude that the increase is related to the water crisis in the city of Flint — although many have assumed it.
Legionella is a type of bacteria commonly found in the environment that grows best in warm water, such as potable water systems (hospitals, large buildings), hot tubs, cooling towers, and decorative fountains. When people are exposed to the bacteria, it can cause legionellosis, a respiratory disease that can infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. The bacteria can also cause a less serious infection called Pontiac fever.
Health official say legionella is not transmitted person to person.MORE NEWS: Wayne County Man Wins $1M On Scratch Off Lottery Ticket
MDHHS says ithas partnered with Wayne State University and continues to work with the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on enhanced surveillance for Legionnaire’s disease which will continue in 2016.