Friday, June 17, 2011

News-Leader: Woman who survives Joplin tornado dies of rare fungus

An article in today's Springfield News-Leader tells the story of Leola Hardin, who survived the tornado, but died of a rare fungal infection:

Officials have said at least three people with the infections have died, but whether the infection caused some, all or any of the deaths in patients gravely injured by the tornado is unclear. Investigators from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are in Joplin now trying to pinpoint whether there are risk factors associated with people who got the disease. They expect to be there about two weeks.

The infection, mucormycosis, might have a fatality rate of 50 percent or higher. The spores can infect people with traumatic injuries, but the fungal infections are rare in healthy people and clusters of them are even rarer.

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