Increase in reported pneumonia deaths may be due to Legionnaires’ disease
The bad news from Flint, Michigan continues. Residents of Flint county were the victims of widely reported poor water management when the county switched water supply sources in 2014 and failed to raise water management standards to cover increased health risks.
It has recently emerged that pneumonia deaths in the county doubled in number. From 53 pneumonia deaths in 2013 to 90 deaths in 2014 and 87 deaths in 2015. The official figures from the Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in Flint from 2014 to 2016 were 12 deaths and 100 hospitalised. Medical experts are reported as saying that at least some, if not all, of the increase in pneumonia deaths may well be due to the Legionella bacterium which causes Legionnaires’ disease.
Improved routine water testing as a result of increased awareness would seem a sensible part of getting a better grip on what is actually happening in Flint so that residents of other counties can learn from Flint’s tragic experience.