Michigan health department appeals secret court order

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services filed a writ of superintending control with the state court of appeals, arguing a confidential order issued during the attorney general's investigation into the Flint, Mich., water crisis prevented the department from investigating multiple cases of Legionnaire's Disease, according to MLive.

A Genesee County circuit court judge issued the confidentiality order in August. The order limits the information the health department is able to receive from the Genesee County health department and McLarenHospital in Flint, Mich.

It is unknown whether the bacterial infection was linked to the Flint water crisis. However, according to the article, 50 of the 90 Legionella cases were found in or related to stays in McLaren Hospital.

Legionnaire's Disease is a type of pnuemonia caused by legionella bacteria. Many exposed to the bacteria don't develop symptoms, but those who do experience coughing, fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches or dirrhea. At least 12 people died after contracting the disease, according to the article.

In order to investigate the Legionella cases, access to the hospital is imperative, according to MDHHS officials.

Genesee County officials sought the order to preserve any evidence that may be of use in the ongoing criminal investigation regarding the Flint water crisis.

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