Water pipe - via Flickr under public domain license.

Flint Water Update

Over the past few months, the Flint water crisis has been covered at length by various media outlets, including here on microBEnet. Here is an update on the situation from NY Times. The Legionnaire’s cases started popping up around June 2014. This article discusses the poor water management in Flint, as well as the inadequate response from the government to the outbreak. There seems to have been little action towards solving the dangerous water problems in Flint even once they arose; government officials were hesitant to investigate the problem thoroughly or to admit that the water could be the source of the outbreak. From the article, the whole effort to investigate the outbreak seems disorganized and underwhelming on the government’s part. To me, this issue is a good example of politics impeding health and science. Unfortunately, political goals and incentives do not always coincide with health and science.

Water pipe - via Flickr under public domain license.
Water pipe – via Flickr under public domain license.

No public announcement was made about the Flint water problem until recently, even though the cases started in summer of 2014. The government exists in some capacity to protect its people, so not communicating a threat to health potentially coming from a government-regulated service is terrible. Tragedy could have been avoided with proper investigation and communication of the incident, which you’d think would be standard, not something that the people of Flint have to fight for in lawsuits.



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Alex Alexiev

Alex Alexiev is a recent UC Davis graduate with a BS in microbiology working in Jonathan Eisen’s lab on aquariums as part of the microbiology of the built environment.