State email trail tracks Legionnaires’ outbreak in Flint

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FLINT WATER EMAILS CRISIS_125808

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has released 53 pages of emails detailing a history of emails concerning the tainted water in Genesee County and the threat of Legionnaires Disease.

The emails reveal that in October 2014 the MDHHS was aware of an increase in the number of Legionnaires’ disease cases being seen in Genesee County.

Within a week there were concerns raised about the water in Flint due to the location of the Legionnaires’ cases.

In the emails there are indications that the Genesee County Health Department officials were reaching out directly to the CDC, leapfrogging the state agencies.

In February 2015 an email from Shannon Johnson of the Michigan Department of Community Health reveals frustrations after seven months of trying to get Genesee County to work with the state agencies instead of the CDC.

Later that month a survey was begun, in some cases reaching back to interview Legionnaires’s Disease victims from June of 2014 who had never been contacted by Genesee County Health Department officials.

It was at the time that a notification was sent out to approximately 15 people at the three local hospitals that there was an increase in the number of Legionnaires’ Disease cases in the area. It was not sent as a more wide-reaching Health Alert Network notification because the person who normally does the distribution for the county was not working that day.

Read the e-mails here: MDHHS E-mails

Read the press release here: MDHHS Press Release

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