The mysterious infection that might be behind 17 deaths in Wisconsin has spread to a second stateThe rarely seen bloodstream infection Elizabethkingiam, which has sickened dozens in Wisconsin since November, has been identified in a Michigan resident, the Michigan health department said.The older adult with underlying health conditions died as a result of the infection, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday. It released no other details about the patient.There have been 54 cases reported to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services."The majority of patients acquiring this infection are over the age of 65, and all patients have a history of at least one underlying serious illness," the Wisconsin agency said in a statement.Seventeen of those individuals have died, although it is not confirmed the infection was the cause of death or the patients' underlying health conditions.
The biggest outbreak of Elizabethkingia in recorded public health history just got bigger.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) confirmed Thursday that an older adult from the western part of the state has died after contracting the obscure blood infection, which has sickened more than 50 in Wisconsin. Seventeen of those patients died, though it’s not clear whether the infection was to blame. All of the victims were people with underlying health conditions, including the latest one in Michigan.
Now, Michigan health officials are trying to figure where the person came in contact with the bacteria. Elizabethkingia anophelis is commonly found in soil, rivers and reservoirs, and usually not dangerous to people — until last November, when people in Wisconsin started falling ill.