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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Maryland tests confirm flu, bacterial co-infections in family case cluster

From Lisa Schnirring at CIDRAP, excerpt :

" Lab tests conducted by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MDHMH) have revealed that two patients in a family cluster of four severe respiratory disease cases had the seasonal H3 influenza strain, complicated by bacterial co-infections, the department announced today.

State authorities and their colleagues in Calvert County have been investigating a cluster of severe respiratory illnesses that led to the deaths of an 81-year-old woman from Lusby and two adult children who cared for her after she got sick and until she died on Mar 1. Another of the woman's daughters is hospitalized with similar symptoms.

More lab testing and an investigation into the cases are ongoing, the MDHMH said in a press release. The release did not specify which two patients the flu confirmation pertained to.

The Calvert County Department of Health (CCDH) said in a statement today that initial tests on two of the four family members suggest that the serious respiratory infection suffered by all four is a complication of seasonal flu. It said a fourth family member is still hospitalized at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and is improving.

The elderly woman's 58-year-old son was treated at the same hospital, where he died on Mar 5, and his 51-year-old sister is receiving care, after first being treated at Calvert Memorial Hospital, the Washington Post reported yesterday. Their 56-year-old sister also died on Mar 5."

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