Legionella bacteria, which can cause the illness commonly known as Legionnaire’s Disease, killed 10 people in the area covering Flint, Michigan, which has been embroiled in a “man-made disaster” caused by poisoned water, Gawker reported.
Gov. Rick Snyder (R), whose administration has been blamed for causing the issues with the city’s water supply, made the announcement during a press conference on Wednesday.
Snyder said that 87 cases of the disease were diagnosed in Genesee County, where Flint is located, between June 2014 and November 2015. That period begins two months after the city’s emergency manager — appointed by Snyder — moved to draw its water supply from the Flint River instead of Lake Huron and ends a month after the decision was reversed.
The city declared a state of emergency last month after lead contamination was confirmed in the water supply.
But the Detroit Free Press reported last week that the governor’s then-chief-of-staff, Dennis Muchmore, expressed concern over the contaminated water as early as July 2014.
However, the state Department of Environmental Quality, which reports only to Snyder, dismissed data showing the extent of the problem. And Snyder has refused to pinpoint the contaminated water as the reason behind a surge of health issues affecting children in the city.