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There’s been a big jump in the number of animals in Michigan testing positive for rabies.

This year, 22 bats and two skunks have tested positive for rabies. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A preliminary hearing for two of the lesser-known defendants in the Flint water crisis investigation is set to begin this week.

Nancy Peeler and Robert Scott were indicted nearly two years ago.

The 2 state health officials who allegedly suppressed data about blood lead levels in Flint children are scheduled to be in court Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege, in July of 2015, Nancy Peeler requested an internal report on blood lead level data in Flint children.

MDHHS
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

According the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the number of reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the state increased from 2016 to 2017.

A statement released Wednesday said there was a 9 percent rise in Chlamydia cases, a 22 percent increase in gonorrhea, and a 28 percent increase in primary and secondary syphilis. MDHHS says these statistics reflect a national trend toward rising reports of STDs.

According to MDHHS, all sexually active individuals should be seek prompt treatment if they test positive for an STD.

A nurse administers a vaccine.
Rhoda Baer / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued $500,000 in grant money to 25 health departments across the state in an effort to stop the spread of hepatitis A that has been plaguing the state since August 2016.

Since then, there have been 789 cases, 635 hospitalizations and 25 deaths related to the outbreak of the highly contagious liver infection, making Michigan’s outbreak the deadliest of several occurring nationwide.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

All the snow and cold and even a bum wrist from a recent fall didn’t stop Otis Lee from his mission to get vaccinated. Using a cane, Lee hobbled into the student center at the University of Detroit Mercy, where the Detroit Health Department has set up a vaccination clinic specifically for restaurant workers and food handlers.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds Michigan is falling short of being prepared to respond to a health emergency.

John Auerbach is the president and CEO of Trust for America's Health. 

He says the Trust’s latest “Ready or Not” report finds Michigan meeting only three of ten main recommendations on public health preparedness.

Auerbach says it’s important that states like Michigan prepare now for future health threats.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Vaccine waiver rates for school-age children have increased slightly in Michigan.

The Detroit News reports that Department of Health and Human Services data shows 3.2% of kindergartners and seventh-graders received immunization waivers in 2016 compared to 3.1% the year before.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Testifying in court today, the daughter of a man who died of Legionnaires' disease in 2015 testified she was not made aware of a deadly outbreak that was underway in Genesee County at the time.

Mary Anne Tribble says her elderly father led an active life, despite some health issues. But his health deteriorated quickly in June of 2015, following a trip to Flint’s McLaren Hospital. Tribble says she and other family members were with him when he died.

“That’s when we found out he had Legionella,” Tribble told the judge.

Chandra Krishnan / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the state’s response to an outbreak of hepatitis A.

McLaren hospital in Flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s McLaren Hospital is responding forcefully to state health officials' demands for more information on Legionnaires' disease cases and prevention. 

In a letter to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, McLaren hospital CEO Chad Grant accuses the department of misplacing blame for the Legionnaires' outbreak in Genesee County.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is getting a $500,000 grant from the state to develop a registry of Flint residents exposed to the city’s tainted drinking water.

The grant is coming from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's chief medical executive, says while children’s exposure to lead in the water is a primary concern, the registry will follow other health issues as well.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is demanding McLaren Hospital Flint and the Genesee County Health Department turn over records of several Legionnaire's disease cases from 2016.

The department wants "immediate action" taken to address potential legionella exposure problems at McLaren Hospital.

There were 17 cases of legionella in Genesee County last year.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

We may soon see a draft proposal for how Michigan will handle more than two billion dollars in Medicaid funding earmarked for mental health.

The Snyder administration caused an uproar earlier this year when it backed a plan to further privatize the public nonprofit mental health system by turning over $2.4 billion in state funding to Medicaid HMOs.

Mental Health groups said this would put control of the money into the hands of out-of-state, for-profit insurance companies.

McLaren Hospital
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Genesee County has recorded its 15th case of Legionnaires Disease of 2016.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the latest case of the serious respiratory disease was reported in a male patient at Flint’s McLaren Hospital.

A Genesee County health official says the man is recovering from major surgery unrelated to Legionnaires. 

None of the Legionnaires cases in Genesee County reported this year have been fatal.

Blood test.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is asking the federal government for money to expand lead abatement efforts.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is seeking nearly $24 million to permanently remove or contain lead based paint in homes, to replace lead water fixtures, and to remove soil lead hazards.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds a majority of households in Flint say they have suffered health problems in the wake of the city’s water crisis.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services asked the federal Centers for Disease Control to conduct a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, or CASPER. Researchers visited 182 Flint households.

McLaren Hospital in Flint and the Genesee County Health Department have been working with the Centers for Disease Control since a court order is preventing local officials from talking directly with the state health department.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are confirming an eighth case of Legionnaire's disease in Genesee County.

A press release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says state health department officials can’t say much about the latest case because of a court order preventing it from talking directly to Genesee County health officials.

The court order is part of a criminal probe of the Flint water crisis, which includes the state health department.  

Michigan Attorney General's office

There is speculation that another person criminally charged in the Flint water crisis will agree to cooperate with prosecutors.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A growing number of Flint officials are raising concerns about a court order blocking the state health department from talking directly with Genesee County health agencies.

The state health department is part of a criminal probe into the Flint water crisis. The court order is part of the investigation, with the intent of protecting potential evidence. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is concerned the health of her city’s residents may be affected by a legal dispute between state agencies and local health institutions. 

A dispute over a court order has led to sniping between the governor’s office, Michigan’s Attorney General’s office, the state health department, and Flint’s McLaren hospital.

This week, the state health department announced a seventh case of Legionnaire's disease in Genesee County this year. But it said it couldn’t confirm what the Flint hospital was doing in response.  

McClaren hospital sign.
courtesy of Signs by Crannie / http://signsbycrannie.com/

A dispute between Michigan’s governor and attorney general is spilling over into institutions charged with protecting public health.

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release yesterday saying there’s a seventh case of Legionnaire's disease in Genesee County. But it added it can’t say much more because it’s blocked by a court order from learning more.

From the release:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state Department of Health and Human Services is asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court order blocking it from communicating with local officials in Flint.   

The protective order was issued by a Genesee County Circuit Court judge as part of the Attorney General’s investigation into possible criminal activity in the Flint Water Crisis. To date, nine current and former state and local government employees have been criminally charged, including several from the state health department. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are now confirming 12 people died in a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Genesee County.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released the updated numbers today. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Updated 10:30 p.m.

Virginia Tech researchers accuse Michigan health officials of trying to “stonewall” the investigation into lead in Flint’s drinking water.

The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, are available online. 

Marc Edwards says newly obtained internal documents show Department of Health and Human Services employees tried to hide evidence that matched the increased lead levels in children found by doctors at Hurley Medical Center.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today people lined up in the rain to get water filters in Flint.

The state is handing out 20,000 Brita filters to people at risk for high lead in their tap water.   Over the weekend, the Genesee County Health Department and United Way gave away 4,000 PUR filters.

“Our goal is to make sure that every single resident in the city of Flint, who needs a water filter gets one,” says Sheryl Thompson, with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan resident has been diagnosed with the plague.

The unidentified Marquette County resident recently traveled to Colorado, where bubonic plague had been active.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says plague does not naturally occur in Michigan, and this is the first ever report of plague in a resident of Michigan.