MDHHS investigates pair of Legionnaires cases in Flint area

Posted at 7:53 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 19:58:55-04

LANSING, Mich.  — The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services says two recent cases of Legionnaire’s disease in the Flint area may be connected to McLaren Flint Hospital.

It’s investigating what it describes as “anomalies” in the performance of secondary treatment systems in the hospital. And says the two cases meet the CDC’s surveillance definition of possible hospital-associated Legionnaire’s disease.

A spokeswoman with the MDHHS tells FOX 17 the state needs more information “so we can be sure that McLaren Flint is taking the necessary steps to ensure public safety and public health.  We are hopeful the hospital will reply by April 10 with the additional detail we have requested so our epidemiologists and public health experts can thoroughly review the materials.”

The MDDHS cited Legionella bacteria, monochloramine measures that “often fell outside control limits” and testing-procedure irregularities.

The MDHHS sent a letter to McLaren Flint  president/CEO Chad Grant on April 5th. It says, in part, “…I direct McLaren Flint Hospital to provide historical and future data necessary to ensure the protection of public health…review of water-testing results from McLaren Flint has demonstrated anomalies in the performance of secondary treatment systems in the hospital and has identified issues with facility-monitoring procedures.”

The testing sought by the state includes continued water quality and bacteriorlogical testing, and implementation of a Water Management Plan.

Image courtesy: MDHHS, 4-10-2019.