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Legionnaires’ Disease Increases in Flint along with Water Safety Concerns

EMSL Analytical offers legionella testing to help with recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Michigan.

Ann Arbor, MI – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

In the two years after Flint, Michigan changed the source of their drinking water from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River, there has been an increase in Legionnaires’ disease in the county. As of November 2015, over 87 cases were reported, including the deaths of 10 residents.  

Legionnaires’ disease occurs when aerosolized water containing Legionella is inhaled or aspirated. Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills and coughing. Those with a weakened immune system, chronic lung disease, current and former smokers, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease.   

In recent weeks, Michigan’s Governor Ricky Synder declared a state of emergency for Genesee County due to the high levels of lead found within the pipes transporting water from the Flint River. Since then, the county’s water source has returned to Detroit’s water system. However, the water crisis has led residents to use bottled water or filters to purify their drinking water.  

“Sporadic cases have been occurring since June 2014 in two temporally different clusters according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services,” said Diane Miskowski, MPH National Legionella Program Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The illness pattern and timing suggests potable water sources rather than a cooling tower water source. Unfortunately, any time there is a disruption in the public water supply that can dislodge biofilm that exists in the water mains, the exposure risk for Legionnaires’ disease increases.”   

To help prevent cases of Legionnaires’ disease, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers Legionella testing services and sampling supplies at its 12 CDC ELITE certified Legionella laboratories throughout North America. EMSL now offers a Legionella Pocket Guide to provide information about the bacteria and sampling techniques. To request a free copy of this guide, please click here.  

To learn more about Legionella and our testing services, please visit or for service questions, please contact EMSL’s Diane Miskowski, MPH, for expert information at 1-800-220-3675 extension 2528.   

To view a complete list of EMSL’s laboratory locations, accreditations and capabilities, please visit For more information about EMSL’s testing services please email  or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 

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 Legionnaires’ disease
 water testing
 drinking water

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