Is there free blood testing for adults?
Yes. Flint residents who would like their blood tested are encouraged to contact their primary care doctor or call the Genesee County Health Department to make a blood lead appointment at 810-257-3445.
Is there blood testing for children?
You should contact your child's primary care physician for testing.
Additionally, you may get your child's blood tested through the Genesee County Health Department. Walk-in blood lead screening for children is available at the GCHD Burton Health Center, located at G-3373 S. Saginaw St., Burton 48529. Hours are 8-11 am and 1-3 pm, Monday through Friday. Hours may vary; parents should call 810-257-3833 for information.
What should my family be eating to reduce the effects of lead?
Feed your family healthy foods with calcium, iron, and vitamin C. These foods may help keep lead out of the body. Calcium is in milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables like spinach. Iron is in lean red meats, beans, peanut butter, and cereals. Vitamin C is in oranges, green and red peppers, and juice.
Where can I get access to healthy foods for my family?
The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan has mobile food distribution sites across the city. The dates and locations are on the Food Bank website.
The Flint Farmers’ Market, located at 300 E. First St. in downtown Flint, is open year-round Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For information about activities and vendors located at the Flint Farmers’ Market, visit www.flintfarmersmarket.com.
What other assistance programs are available?
To apply for SNAP food assistance or Healthy Michigan insurance, visit mibridges.michigan.gov or Call the Michigan Health Care Helpline at 1-855-789-5610.
How can I apply for WIC?
To apply for WIC, call 1-800-262-4784
Who is eligible for WIC?
Fall into one of the following categories: Pregnant Women, Breastfeeding Women up to 1 year from delivery, Postpartum Women up to 6 months from delivery, Infants, Children up to their 5th birthday
Resident of the state of Michigan. U.S. Citizenship is not required.
Income eligible (at or below 185% of Federal Poverty Guidelines or on Medicaid or food stamps)
Determined by WIC clinic staff to be at nutrition and/or health risk. Some typical health risks are: low blood iron or anemia; too much or too little weight gain (for pregnant women and children), poor diet, chronic disease, and developmental disabilities.
What should I do if I am experiencing rashes?
Any resident with concerns about a rash should contact their primary care doctor immediately. If you do not have a primary doctor we encourage you to call Call United Way 211 or toll free at 866-561-2500 to learn about resources that may be available to assist you in finding resources to gain access to health care.
The state is aware of concerns related to skin issues, but at this time there is no known scientific link connecting rashes to the change in water source. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is currently recommending that bath time be used for bathing only, after which children should be taken out of the bath. Children should be supervised at all times while bathing and caution should be used to ensure that children do not drink the water.
What is being done to study Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County?
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Wayne State University released a statement regarding legionnaires because Genesee County had increased cases of Legionnaires’ disease in 2014 and 2015. MDHHS cannot conclude that these increases were related to the water switch in Flint nor can we rule out a possible association at this time.
Looking ahead to the coming warmer months, MDHHS is working with buildings with large water systems such as hospitals and nursing homes, hotels and motels, and buildings with more than 10 stories to help protect people from Legionnaires’ disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working with MDHHS in identifying buildings at increased risk for Legionella growth and spread and developing tools to support Legionella prevention. Further, chlorine (a water disinfectant that inhibits Legionella growth) levels will continue to be closely monitored throughout the municipal system.
“As part of the U.S. Government response in Flint, we are collaborating with MDHHS and the Genesee County Health Department to make sure as many Legionnaires’ disease cases as possible are prevented in the future,” said Nancy Messonnier, Deputy Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Additionally, WSU has developed a protocol that includes rapid interviewing of patients reported with Legionella infections, promotion of appropriate specimen collection, and testing for Legionella and chlorination levels in the homes of people who are confirmed to have Legionnaires’ disease. Testing will help us understand if the water treatment process is adequate.
Finding Legionella in a water system is not uncommon. Studies have shown that Legionella bacteria can be found in anywhere from 6 to 33 percent of sampled homes, however, even if it is found, the risk of the average person acquiring Legionnaires’ disease from their home water system is very low. If Legionella is found in someone’s home, we will be able to compare those specimens with the clinical specimens from the patient to try to understand where the patient’s infection came from, as well as work with residents who have Legionella detected in their homes to improve the safety of their water.
What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionella is a type of bacteria commonly found in the environment that grows best in warm water, such as hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, drinkable water systems, and decorative fountains. When people are exposed to the bacteria, it can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory disease that can infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. In general, Legionnaires’ disease is not spread from one person to another. However, this has been documented in extremely rare cases.
Most healthy people do not get sick after being exposed to Legionella. Being 50 years or older or having certain risk factors increases the chances of getting sick. Other risk factors include being a current or former smoker; having chronic lung disease, such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; having a weakened immune system from diseases like cancer, diabetes, or kidney failure; or taking medicine that weakens your immune system. Legionnaires’ disease in children is not common.
For any resident that develops pneumonia symptoms, you should see a doctor right away. Signs and symptoms of pneumonia can include cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headache, and high fever. Be sure to tell the doctor if you have used a hot tub, spent any nights away from home, or stayed in a hospital in the last two weeks. Legionnaires' disease requires treatment with antibiotics, and most cases can be treated successfully.