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Legionnaires' Disease On The Rise In Michigan

There have been 135 reported cases statewide so far this year

July 09, 2018 - 6:38 pm

(WWJ) -- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is looking into the rise in Legionnaires' disease, as the respiratory infection has seen a spike in numbers statewide.

So far this year there have been 135 confirmed cases reported in 33 counties, compared to 107 confirmed cases during the same time last year, according to the MDHHS.

Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia, doesn't spread from person to person. Instead, the bacteria spreads through mist, including from air-conditioning units, fountains or hot tubs.

Lynn Sutfin from MDHHS says it's important to make sure any mist you may be around is coming from a clean source of water.

“If you’re in a hot tub, make sure it’s been cleaned and sanitized, or if they’ve got any of those fountains or decorative other water features, make sure they’ve cleaned it and sanitized it well,” Sutfin told WWJ Newsradio 950's Dr. Deanna Lites.

Those most at risk of contracting Legionnaires' include adults over the age of 50, people with weak immune systems, those with chronic lung disease and current and former smokers.

Two contractors working on the campus of Wayne State University were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease last month.

The two were working on construction at the Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments when they fell ill. Officials say they found the Legionella bacterium in multiple places throughout the campus, but it was most significant in just one cooling tower at the Towers Residential Suites.