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Legionnaire's Disease Spiked Up In Flint

Update Date: Jan 15, 2016 09:30 AM EST
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In an apparent atmosphere of despair, Governor Rick Snyder placed entire Michigan under a state of emergency following 10 confirmed deaths caused by Legionnaire's disease with 87 more reported cases in Flint since the water crisis erupted a year and a half ago.

Flint, Michigan's 7th largest city and one of America's poorest, has already been dealing with an ongoing crisis linked to the city's problematic water supply discovered to be seriously contaminated with lead.

According to the Washington Post, the crisis erupted when Flint local officials decided to get water from lead-contaminated Flint River instead of buying its supply from Detroit which the city has been doing for years.

The rationale behind the water source switch was the meager budget the city gets for public services. Dire financial straits appeared to have forced city policymakers to change course at the expense of public health interests.

As of the moment, state health authorities are still trying to figure out whether the unexpected surge of Legionnaire's disease is connected with the city's lead-contaminated water supply.

"Eighty-seven cases is a lot. That tells us that there is a source there that needs to be investigated," observed Chief Medical Executive for the Health and Human Services Department Eden Wells as quoted saying by Fusion.

The 10 fatal death cases resulting from Legionnaire's disease was caused by contracting Legionella bacteria found mostly in plumbing systems with symptoms similar to pneumonia's such as difficulty in breathing, fever, and muscle pains as stated in a report by HNGN.

To placate the public's fuming displeasure over government's inaction, the governor resorted to mobilizing the state's National Guard to enforce the state of emergency and started to distribute safe-drinking bottled water, filters, and other essential supplies to Flint locals.

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