Legionnaires’ Disease on the Rise in Michigan: MDHHS Warns
What is Legionnaires’ Disease
"Legionnaires’ (LEE-juh-nares) disease is a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella (LEE-juh-nell-a) bacteria," reports the CDC. "People can get sick when they breathe in small droplets of water or accidently swallow water containing Legionella into the lungs."
Citing a release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), FOX 47 reports that legionellosis cases happen more often in the summer or early fall because warmer, stagnant water is the best environment for the bacteria to grow.
They say the bacteria can also be found in man-made water systems as well as naturally occurring that means anything from cooling towers to decorative fountains can be a site of growth and/or transmission.
Now, with more offices and public spaces opening up after lying dormant for however long, there is an uptick in cases of the disease.
Current Increase of Cases In Michigan
FOX 47 reports, from an MDHHS news release, from July first to the 14th, there have been 107 cases of Legionnaire's reported across 25 Michigan counties.
They note that "While that is a 56% percent increase over the same period in 2020, it also represents a 161% increase over 2019 when COVID-19 restrictions were not in place."
MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health seems to think recent rainy, warm weather and flooding could be a cause of the uptick in the disease, as reported by FOX 47.
How To Stay Safe
According to MDHHS and FOX 47, inhaling a mist or vapor containing Legionella bacteria is how it is transmitted but is not spread person-to-person.
CLICK HERE to learn more and about the "risk factors for exposure" from MDHHS.
Much like with COVID, if you are already immunocompromised, you are at a higher risk of contracting the disease so is best to avoid exposure.
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