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Pontiac – Health officials in Oakland County are reporting an increase in confirmed Legionnaires’ disease cases.

The Oakland County Health Division says Monday that there were 52 cases through Oct. 8 and 63 confirmed cases of the disease through Oct. 17. There were 47 in 2017.

Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by breathing in water droplets contaminated with the bacterium Legionella. Symptoms typically develop two to 14 days after exposure and can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches.

County health officer Leigh-Anne Stafford says “individuals that smoke or have chronic respiratory ailments are at higher risk of getting sick.”

A Legionnaires’ outbreak killed at least 12 people in the Flint area in 2014 and 2015.

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