Residents of Flint, Mich., are still afraid of the city’s water.
That fear, caused by the 2015 findings of elevated lead levels in the city water supply, has led many of the town’s residents to forgo some basic hygiene, such as washing their hands or bathing with water — even though the federal government has deemed the water safe when using a water filter.
“People aren’t bathing because they’re scared,” Jim Henry, Genesee County’s environmental health supervisor, told CNN.
As a result, the city is facing another outbreak: This time of Shigellosis, an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Shigella.
Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, malaise and abdominal pain.
Since October 2015, 84 cases of the disease have appeared in Flint, a city that normally experiences 20 instances each year, according to CNN.
Some parents, despite the warnings of health officials, won’t let their children near water and are using baby wipes to wash them.
“Baby wipes … [don’t] replace hand-washing,” Henry said. “People have changed their behavior regarding personal hygiene. They’re scared.”