Paul Kilgore to speak at CURES seminar on Flint water crisis

Paul Kilgore Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice Paul Kilgore, M.P.H., M.D., will share his insights on the Flint water crisis at an upcoming Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) seminar. The event takes place Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at in room 3022 of the IBio Building, 6135 Woodward Avenue, room 3022. The seminar is free and open to the entire university community.

In addition to Kilgore, speakers include Matthew Seeger, professor and dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, and Shawn McElmurry, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Each will present lessons learned during the Flint water crisis.

Kilgore has served as co-investigator for NIH- and State of Michigan-supported studies addressing health and environmental challenges occuring during the Flint water crisis. He maintains an active research program focused on infectious diseases, including those transmitted via environmental exposures.  

Abstract

The CDC notes that "Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)-related emergency preparedness and outbreak response has become one of the most significant and crucial public health issues in recent history" (CDC 2017). Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and droughts, human-caused disasters such as chemical spills and contaminations often impact municpal water systems. In addition, infections and water borne diseases may also follow disasters, creating additional threats to public health. These impacts may be compounded with older, poorly maintained infrastructures. The Flint Water Crisis involved an aging municpal water system suffering a major disruption (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2018 Febr 20; 115(8)E1730-E1739). This resulted in 6,000 children under age 6 exposed to very high lead levels, 91 cases of Legionella including 12 deaths, a 58% rise in fetal death rates, and outbreaks of rashes and dysentery. This presentation presents lessons learned from the Flint Water System specifically regarding the dynamic state of disrupted aging water systems, deploying remedial devices such as point-of-use filters, monitoring and surveillance and the distribution and communication of guidance such as boil water notices.

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