A spike in Legionnaires’ disease cases are being questioned and possibly linked to Michigan’s water crisis in Flint, Reuters reports.
State officials, however, are currently unsure that the increase in the water-related disease is connected to the switch in the city’s water source. A total of 87 cases were discovered in the state during June 2014 to November 2015. The city switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in April 2015.
Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed health departments from Genesee County and Michigan are investigating the increases.
After children were found with elevated levels of lead, the city returned to the Detroit water system in October. Members of the Michigan National Guard arrived in Flint on Wednesday to help distribute water bottles, filters, and other materials to over 30,000 households.
Cases of Legionnaires’ disease were broken down in Michigan, with 27 coming from Flint. Reports revealed more than half of the patients didn’t drink Flint water in their homes, but shopped or went to places that used Flint water.
Legionnaires is a type of pneumonia caused by inhaling mist infected with the bacteria Legionella. The mist may come from air-conditioning units for large buildings, hot tubs or showers.
In addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation into Flint’s water, residents filed a federal lawsuit against the city for deliberately endangering their health.
Governor Rick Snyder issued an apology to residents for the slow decision to finally intervene.