Tags: flint | michigan | shigellosis

Flint, Michigan: Shigellosis Outbreak Plagues City Amid Water Crisis

Image: Flint, Michigan: Shigellosis Outbreak Plagues City Amid Water Crisis

The water tower at the Flint Water Plant in Flint, Michigan, looms large over the city March 4, 2016, nearly 2 years after the start of the city's water crisis. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 03 Oct 2016 06:45 PM

Flint Michigan is facing a Shigellosis outbreak in the wake of a water crisis that has left residents afraid to use the water — even to wash their hands.

The bacterial infection is spread when people don't wash their hands and can cause bloody diarrhea and fever.

"People aren't bathing because they're scared," Jim Henry, Genesee County's environmental health supervisor, told CNN. "Some people have mentioned that they're not going to expose their children to the water again."

The outbreak is the latest blow in a two-year water crisis that included one of the worst outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease in U.S. history followed by high levels of lead in the water supply, leaving people with rashes and hair loss.

Instead of washing their hands, Flint residents are relying on baby wipes, distributed free in the city. But using baby wipes doesn't cut it, Henry told CNN.

Genesee County, where Flint is located, has seen 84 cases of Shigellosis so far this year leading to 27 hospitalizations.

The Genesee County Health Department issued an advisory in September urging residents to shower often and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water after incidences of Shigellosis reached levels more than triple the previous year, MLive Media Group reported last month. Most of those cases were reported in June, July, and August, and the advisory was issued at the beginning of the school year and flu season.

"The fact that we have investigated that many cases is concerning to us," Suzanna Cupal, public health division director for the Genesee County Health Department, said, according to MLive.

The CDC and the state health department are assisting the county in fighting the spread of the disease, CNN reported, but the county complained that the state health department was slow in joining the effort.

The state health department disagreed, telling CNN in a statement that it was "fully engaged in this effort."

Twitter users expressed concern about the outbreak.

 

 

 

 

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Flint Michigan is facing a Shigellosis outbreak in the wake of a water crisis that has left residents afraid to use the water - even to wash their hands.
flint, michigan, shigellosis
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2016-45-03
Monday, 03 Oct 2016 06:45 PM
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