Wayne State University, at the request of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, has assembled a multi-institutional, multidisciplinary team of investigators that includes experts from all three University Research Corridor (URC) institutions to scientifically evaluate the possible association between the changes in Flint drinking water quality and the prevalence of diseases and other possible medical conditions.
While the research plan and goals will evolve with community and government input, our initial proposal includes three goals:
- Assess if and to what degree the environmental and community conditions were conducive to development of the Legionella outbreak and skin disorders.
- Conduct environmental specimen analysis to identify the presence of residual evidence for opportunistic pathogens using household samples.
- Determine possible modes and patterns of disease transmission, including behavioral factors, health factors and other potential exposures.
This project will require a multiphase and multidisciplinary approach. Phase one will start in March 2016 and focus on assembling a full team of experts to properly evaluate this hypothesis and develop a detailed plan for enhanced disease and environmental surveillance. As the project evolves, the team will add information and resources to this website.
With an established set of relationships and expertise in urban water issues, engineering, public health and social science, WSU is uniquely qualified to lead this investigation. Experts from Wayne State's Urban Watershed Environmental Research Group and NIH-funded Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors have already been actively engaged in Flint, assisting in the evaluation of drinking water quality.