One expert says the death toll attributed to the 2014-2015 Legionnaires' outbreak in Flint, Mich., may exceed the 12 reported deaths, according to an article on the Becker's Hospital Review website.
Marcus Zervos, MD, an infectious disease physician at Detroit's Henry Ford Health System and the co-principal investigator of Detroit-based Wayne State University's study of Flint's water contamination crisis, testified in the preliminary hearing of Michigan HHS Director Nick Lyon.
Lyon faces one count of involuntary manslaughter for his alleged role in interfering with state-funded research linking Flint River water to the Legionnaires' outbreak.
Zervos testified that a patient could contract Legionella bacteria while in a hospital, but dye six months later of heart failure. If the bacteria weakened the heart, a disease specialist could consider the death as being spurred by the infection.