Joplin’s tornado victims get rare fungus, 3 die
Joplin, Missouri (BDCi) – Eight people injured by the tornados of Joplin, Missouri have contracted a rare fungal infection, and three have died.
The fungus, formally known as “mucormycosis”, was determined to be the primary cause of death of one of the three deceased. Since there were other physical injuries aside from the fungus, the cause of death of the other two people is as yet to be determined pending further examination. The death toll from the Joplin tornados is now at 151.
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the “CDC”, is now working alongside Missouri state health officials to monitor the cases of infection and provide guidance and support.
CDC researcher Dr. Benjamin Park told CNN that in most cases, people with weakened immune systems inhale spores and develop sinus or nasal infections that spread. The Joplin cases apparently are a form of the severe infection that appears with soft-tissue injuries.
“A spore on the tip of a tree, for example, can pierce the skin,” Park said. “The infection can progress a few weeks later and cause significant damage to tissue, which can require hospitalization, antibiotics and even removal of the tissue.”
If there is a bright side to the situation, it is that this particular fungal infection cannot be transmitted human to human.
By Don Weinstein
11 June 2011