Michigan reported a significant increase in Legionnaires’ disease across 25 counties

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Michigan reported a significant increase in Legionnaires’ disease across 25 counties

Michigan saw a significant increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases in the first two weeks of July compared to the same time last year.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services noted that 107 cases reported in 25 counties between July 1 and July 14 were “higher than expected for Michigan at this time of year.” The two-week total represents a 569% increase from the 16 cases reported in the same time period in 2020. There were 41 cases during the same two weeks in 2019.

The state Department of Health notes that some environmental factors, such as precipitation and heat, can exacerbate legionnaires’ proliferation.

“Recent weather trends including rain, flooding and warmer weather may play a role in the rise in Legionnaires’ disease cases this summer,” Dr. Johnny Khaldoon, the state’s chief medical officer, said in a statement. “We want everyone to be aware of Legionnaire’s disease, especially if they are at higher risk of contracting the disease and we ask health care providers to remain vigilant, and to be tested and treated appropriately.”

While the increase is “alarming,” the total number of cases in the first two weeks of July is low compared to the population, said Chuanwu Shi, professor of environmental health sciences and global public health at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. .

“I don’t think you really need to be afraid,” Shi said, but the increase “is an indication that something is wrong here in the system.”

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