Health officials have identified two more fatal cases of Legionnaires’ disease last year in the Flint area. This brings the total number of deaths from Legionnaires’ disease in Genesse County over a 17-month period to 12. The Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services raised the total number of cases over this period to 91, more than five times the county average before the city began sourcing its water from the Flint River in 2014.
Some experts have linked the increase in Legionnaires cases to the city’s switch from Detroit water to the Flint River. The move, intended as a cost-cutting measure, had drastic consequences, as the corrosive water leached lead from the pipes. Officials have not yet established an official link between the Flint River water and Legionnaires’ disease.