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Friday, June 10, 2011

ALERT! Missouri tornado victims suffer from deadly, rapid, aggressive fungal infections

Joplin toll rises to 151; some suffer from fungus | www.WHEC.com: "- The death toll from the tornado that destroyed much of Joplin has risen to 151, and three of the latest victims suffered from a rare fungal infection that can occur when dirt becomes embedded under the skin, authorities said Friday.

Jasper County Coroner Rob Chappel said the three had been hospitalized with the unusually aggressive infection sometimes found in survivors of other natural disasters. He said it was difficult to identify the fungus as a cause of death since the people infected also suffered other severe injuries.

'These people had multiple traumas, pneumonia, all kinds of problems,' said Dr. Uwe Schmidt, an infectious disease specialist at Freeman Health System in Joplin. 'It’s difficult to say how much the fungal infections contributed to their demise.'

Schmidt said his hospital treated five Joplin tornado victims for the infection, known as zygomycosis (zy’-goh-my-KOH’-sihs)."

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