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Michigan Orders Flint Hospital To Reduce Legionnaires' Risks

Legionella pneumophila seen under a scanning electron microscope
Wikimedia Commons
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Legionella pneumophila seen under a scanning electron microscope

Michigan officials are ordering a Flint hospital to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires' disease at the facility.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on Wednesday ordered McLaren Flint Hospital to "immediately correct conditions."

Hospital spokeswoman Rosemary Plorin says in an email they believe the order "is unfounded and represents the state's continuous efforts to shift blame for their bad decisions made five years ago onto our hospital."

Flint, while under state financial management, switched to the Flint River for water in 2014 without treating it to reduce corrosion. Lead leached from pipes, contaminating the system. At the same time, a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak occurred that led to criminal charges against government officials.

Legionnaires' is a severe form of pneumonia caused by water-borne bacteria.

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