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Molecular testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established a connection between Flint, Mich.’s water and the Legionnaires’ disease that stuck down local residents during the height of the town’s water crisis.
Questions remain, however, as to the definitive source of the disease.
The tests show a genetic link between water samples taken from the McLaren Flint Hospital and three septum samples from patients who were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
An outbreak of Legionnaires in the Flint area between 2014-2015 killed 12 people and sickened many others.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has focused lately on the hospital ordering it on Feb. 14 to immediately comply with federal recommendations issued due to the medical center’s association with the deadly outbreak.
One sample, however, came from a Legionnaires’ victim who was not a patient at the hospital. Public health officials say this shows the ultimate source of the disease could have been Flint’s water supply itself.
"The presence of Legionella in Flint was widespread," Dr. Janet Stout, a research associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a national expert on the disease told MLive. "The (laboratory) results show that strains (of the bacteria) were throughout the water system."
More details here.