New Legionnaires' victim named in Flint water case
FLINT, Mich —
Special prosecutor Todd Flood says a Flint woman who died in December, is the latest victim of Legionnaires disease as a result of the change in water sources.
Karenise Westbook passed away December 21st and Flood says it appears she had the same strain as Robert Skidmore, who died from Legionnaire's disease, back in 2015.
The funeral home where Westbrook's services were held, says they are still awaiting an official cause of death.
During the preliminary exams for the four former MDEQ officials charged in connection with the water crisis, we expect to hear testimony from a relative of Westbrook.
Marc Edwards the engineering professor from Virginia Tech who helped to uncover the water crisis back in 2015 says hearing of a new case is concerning and needs to be investigated.
He says legionnaires disease doesn't just sit in a person's body so if the case is confirmed it means Westbrook had to have come in contact with the disease in recent months.
“This is a very concerning case but people do get legionaries disease all around the country. The CDC, the state and the county have to do an investigation to figure out where this came from and whether it came from water because a majority of time it doesn't come from drinking water, it comes from other sources like cooling towers. But its certainly a concern and I'm sure people are taking it very, very seriously,” says Edwards.
The four MDEQ officials Mike Prisby, Stephen Busch, Patrick Cook and Liane Shekter-Smith are back in court Wednesday morning.