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Health officials focusing on tall buildings in Legionnaires' disease fight

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Local, state and federal health officials are joining forces to reduce the chances of another Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County.

The agencies are starting a pilot program to educate the managers of large buildings and hospitals on how they can reduce the spread of Legionella bacteria in their water systems. 

“The buildings tend to be more complex,” says Mark Valacak, Genesee County health director. “Based upon the height of the facilities, in terms of water being able to stand for periods of time, where it might have the temperature and the time for the bacteria to grow.”

Twelve people died in a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County since June of 2014.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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