Breaking News
December 16, 2018 - Social stigma contributes to poor mental health in the autistic community
December 16, 2018 - Multidisciplinary team successfully performs complex surgery on patient suffering from enlarged skull
December 16, 2018 - Experts analyze data that can guide antidepressant discontinuation
December 16, 2018 - Menlo Therapeutics’ Successful Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Serlopitant Demonstrates Reduction of Pruritus Associated with Psoriasis
December 16, 2018 - Siblings of children with autism or ADHD are at elevated risk for both disorders
December 16, 2018 - New project aims to understand why and how metabolic disorders develop in patients
December 16, 2018 - Diets containing GM maize have no harmful effects on health or metabolism of rats
December 16, 2018 - Are doctors and teachers confusing immaturity and attention deficit?
December 16, 2018 - Hearing loss linked with increased risk for premature death
December 16, 2018 - Chromatrap buffer reagents for lysing cells offer many benefits
December 16, 2018 - Young Breast Cancer Patients Face Higher Risk for Osteoporosis
December 16, 2018 - 3-D printing offers helping hand to people with arthritis
December 16, 2018 - Community Health Choice helps manage complex and chronic care conditions
December 16, 2018 - Regular trips out could dramatically reduce depression in older age
December 16, 2018 - CWRU to use VivaLNK’s Vital Scout device for stress study in student athletes
December 16, 2018 - ‘Easy Way Out’? Stigma May Keep Many From Weight Loss Surgery
December 16, 2018 - Gout drug may protect against chronic kidney disease
December 16, 2018 - Talking about memories enhances the wellbeing of older and younger people
December 16, 2018 - Occupational exposure to pesticides increases risk for cardiovascular disease among Latinos
December 16, 2018 - A biomarker in the brain’s circulation system may be Alzheimer’s earliest warning
December 16, 2018 - Magnesium may play important role in optimizing vitamin D levels, study shows
December 16, 2018 - The effect of probiotics on intestinal flora of premature babies
December 16, 2018 - Parents spend more time talking with kids about mechanics of using mobile devices
December 16, 2018 - Biohaven Announces Positive Results from Ongoing Rimegepant Long-Term Safety Study
December 16, 2018 - Arterial stiffness may predict dementia risk
December 16, 2018 - Study explores link between work stress and increased cancer risk
December 16, 2018 - Sex work criminalization linked to incidences of violence finds study
December 16, 2018 - Johns Hopkins researchers discover swarming behavior in fish-dwelling parasite
December 16, 2018 - Schistosomiasis prevention and treatment could help control HIV
December 16, 2018 - Early postpartum opioids linked with persistent usage
December 16, 2018 - Johns Hopkins researchers identify molecular causes of necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies
December 16, 2018 - Advanced illumination expands capabilities of light-sheet microscopy
December 16, 2018 - Alzheimer’s could possibly be spread via contaminated neurosurgery
December 16, 2018 - Unraveling the complexity of cancer biology can prompt new avenues for drug development
December 16, 2018 - Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Prostate Cancer Linked
December 16, 2018 - Cannabis youth prevention strategy should target mental wellbeing
December 15, 2018 - Recent developments and challenges in hMAT inhibitors
December 15, 2018 - Sewage bacteria found lurking in Hudson River sediments
December 15, 2018 - CDC selects UMass Amherst biostatistician model that helps predict influenza outbreaks
December 15, 2018 - Researchers reveal brain mechanism that drives itch-evoked scratching behavior
December 15, 2018 - New computer model helps predict course of the disease in prostate cancer patients
December 15, 2018 - Obesity to Blame for Almost 1 in 25 Cancers Worldwide
December 15, 2018 - How the brain tells you to scratch that itch
December 15, 2018 - New findings could help develop new immunotherapies against cancer
December 15, 2018 - World’s largest AI-powered medical research network launched by OWKIN
December 15, 2018 - Young people suffering chronic pain battle isolation and stigma as they struggle to forge their identities
December 15, 2018 - Lifespan extension at low temperatures depends on individual’s genes, study shows
December 15, 2018 - New ingestible capsule can be controlled using Bluetooth wireless technology
December 15, 2018 - Researchers uncover microRNAs involved in the control of social behavior
December 15, 2018 - Research offers hope for patients with serious bone marrow cancer
December 15, 2018 - Link between poverty and obesity is only about 30 years old, study shows
December 15, 2018 - Mass spectrometry throws light on old case of intentional heavy metal poisoning
December 15, 2018 - BeyondSpring Announces Phase 3 Study 105 of its Lead Asset Plinabulin for Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia Meets Primary Endpoint at Interim Analysis
December 15, 2018 - Study finds that in treating obesity, one size does not fit all
December 15, 2018 - Tenacity and flexibility help maintain psychological well-being, mobility in older people
December 15, 2018 - Study reveals role of brain mechanism in memory recall
December 15, 2018 - High levels of oxygen encourage the brain to remain in deep, restorative sleep
December 15, 2018 - Experimental HIV vaccine strategy works in non-human primates, research shows
December 15, 2018 - Genetically modified pigs could limit replication of classical swine fever virus, study shows
December 15, 2018 - FDA Approves Herzuma (trastuzumab-pkrb), a Biosimilar to Herceptin
December 15, 2018 - Cost and weight-loss potential matter most to bariatric surgery patients
December 15, 2018 - Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca open new Functional Genomics Centre
December 15, 2018 - New research lays out potential path for treatment of Huntington’s disease
December 15, 2018 - Prestigious R&D 100 Award presented to Leica Microsystems
December 15, 2018 - Study shows septin proteins detect and kill gut pathogen, Shigella
December 15, 2018 - Study sheds new light on disease-spreading mosquitoes
December 15, 2018 - 2017 Saw Slowing in National Health Care Spending
December 15, 2018 - Monitoring movement reflects efficacy of mandibular splint
December 15, 2018 - Study supports BMI as useful tool for assessing obesity and health
December 15, 2018 - Self-guided, internet-based therapy platforms effectively reduce depression
December 15, 2018 - Organically farmed food has bigger climate impact than conventional food production
December 15, 2018 - Faster, cheaper test has potential to enhance prostate cancer evaluation
December 15, 2018 - Researchers study abnormal blood glucose levels of patients after hospital discharge
December 15, 2018 - Swedish scientists explore direct association of dementia and ischemic stroke deaths
December 15, 2018 - Study finds 117% increase in number of dementia sufferers in 26 years
December 15, 2018 - Eczema Can Drive People to Thoughts of Suicide: Study
December 15, 2018 - Link between neonatal vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia confirmed
December 15, 2018 - Nurse denied life insurance because she carries naloxone
December 15, 2018 - Ritalin drug affects organization of pathways that build brain networks used in attention, learning
December 15, 2018 - Research pinpoints two proteins involved in creation of stem cells
CSU researchers find cause of Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Flint

CSU researchers find cause of Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Flint

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2014-15 in Flint, Michigan, was likely caused by a change in the city’s drinking water supply, according to a study led by Colorado State University researchers.

Sammy Zahran, associate professor in the Department of Economics at CSU, was the lead author of an article about the study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). CSU Economics Professor David Mushinski was a co-author.

Based on a detailed statistical analysis of multiple datasets by Zahran and his co-authors, the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership (FACHEP) found that the majority of Legionnaires’ disease cases that occurred during the 2014-15 outbreak in Genesee County, Michigan, can be attributed to a change in the City of Flint’s drinking water supply, from Lake Huron to the Flint River.

A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY

The researchers conducted an exhaustive analysis of data on Legionnaires’ cases in Genesee, Wayne and Oakland counties between 2011 and 2016. FACHEP researchers determined that in 2014-15 an increase in the risk of acquiring Legionnaires’ disease across the Flint water distribution system was consistent with a system-wide proliferation of Legionella bacteria. The researchers determined that an estimated 80 percent of Legionnaires’ cases during this period were attributable to the change in water supply, according to the article in PNAS.

“During the period when their water was supplied from the Flint River, Flint residents were seven times more likely to develop Legionnaires’ disease,” Zahran said. “After public announcements urging residents to boil their water, there was a lower risk of developing the disease, likely because people avoided using their water.”

“Our study shows that during the water crisis, the risk of a Flint resident having Legionnaires’ disease increased as the amount of free chlorine in water decreased,” said Shawn McElmurry, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Wayne State University and the FACHEP principal investigator. “Since municipalities routinely measure free chlorine at multiple points in water distribution systems to reduce the risk of waterborne illnesses, these results should help inform future water management policies and practices.” Chlorine is routinely added to drinking water to kill microbes.

EFFECT OUTSIDE FLINT

During the water crisis, the likelihood of Legionnaires’ disease occurring in communities adjacent to Flint also increased, probably due to the number of people who commuted into Flint.

After the city returned to its original water source, Lake Huron, the risk of a Flint neighborhood presenting with Legionnaires’ disease returned to historically normal levels.

The analysis also suggested that chlorine residual levels recommended by regulatory agencies (0.2 or 0.5 parts per million) may not be sufficient to protect communities from Legionella pneumophila exposure when water quality conditions support strong Legionella growth. These were the conditions in Flint during and immediately after the water change.

“It’s gratifying to have independent confirmation of what many of us working and living in Flint have suspected,” said Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, a member of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s Flint Water Advisory Task Force and the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee. “This provides clarity regarding what happened in this community and hopefully will help others. “

A DIFFICULT TASK

McElmurry noted that the investigation was challenging. “These are very complicated questions, and we are working with a very talented team of investigators including epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, microbiologists, water engineers, social-behavioral scientists and statisticians to understand what happened in Flint,” he said. “Most important was the assistance of residents who worked directly with us on this challenging problem.”

Before making their results public, Zahran and his co-authors subjected their analysis to a peer-review process. That process for research published in academic journals helps verify that the methods and conclusions have been evaluated by experts in the field and meets rigorous standards for accuracy. Research and the peer-review process takes time.

“While we have been anxious to share these results as soon as possible, we thought it was also important that our research was subjected to the highest level of independent review,” said McElmurry. “Peer-review allows us to demonstrate that our work is independent and free of any external influence.”

The FACHEP research team is a consortium led by Wayne State University that includes the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Kettering University, Colorado State University and the Henry Ford Health System.

ABOUT THE PROCESS

The FACHEP team collected water samples from more than 368 randomly selected homes in Flint, including 136 homes in 2016 and 221 homes in 2017. It also collected samples from 268 randomly selected homes in Genesee County, including 51 homes tested in 2016 and 217 homes tested in 2017.

Samples collected in Genesee County outside of Flint, and in Wayne County, will serve as comparisons to Flint samples to better understand water quality in the city.

Source:

CSU researchers lead study on cause of disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles