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 has not been dangerous to people — until last November, when people in Wisconsin started falling ill. READ MORE