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The MDHHS Reports a Dramatic Increase in Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease

EMSL Analytical provides rapid PCR and traditional culturing methods to identify Legionella, the microbial pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever, from environmental samples.

Ann Arbor, Michigan – WEBWIRE

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) announced last month that it was investigating an increase in reports of Legionnaires’ disease across the state. The department shared that between July 1st and July 14th, 107 cases of Legionnaires’ disease had been reported in 25 counties. This represents a 569% increase from referrals from the same period in 2020 (16 cases) and a 161% increase from referrals from the same period in 2019 (41 cases).

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by bacteria known as Legionella, which typically live in water. If someone inhales contaminated water from a water system that is not adequately maintained, they could become sick.

According to the MDHHS:

As many buildings are currently reopening after extended COVID-19 closures or periods of limited use, this may also create an environment for potential amplification and transmission of Legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria are found naturally in freshwater lakes and streams but can also be found in man-made water systems. Potable water systems, cooling towers, whirlpool spas and decorative fountains offer common environments for bacterial growth and transmission if they are not cleaned and maintained properly. Warm water, stagnation and low disinfectant levels are conditions that support growth in these water systems.

“While most people that inhale Legionella do not become sick, the disease can have dire consequences for vulnerable populations,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Therefore, EMSL offers environmental testing and sampling supplies to minimize exposure risks. In fact, over twenty of EMSL’s laboratories have received the CDC’s Certificate of Proficiency from its ELITE Program for Legionella testing and another five locations are NYSDOH ELAP Legionella certified laboratories.”

To learn more about Legionella or other microbial testing services, please visit or, email , or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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