Alabama Mystery Illness Solved

According to a press release, testing at a state lab and at the CDC showed that different groups of pathogens were present. All seven Alabama patients were tested and six of the samples came back positive for either influenza A, rhinovirus or a combination of the two. Three patients were found to have bacterial pneumonia.

Southeast Alabama is home to a military base and several aircraft plants that have frequent international travel. Public Health officials took extraordinary caution due to the recent emergence of H7N9 and novel coronavirus in Asia and the Middle East. To date, there have been 131 confirmed cases of H7N9, including 32 deaths. Globally, from September 2012 to date, the WHO has been informed of a total of 44 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection, including 22 deaths.

Department spokesperson Dr. Mary McIntyre, assistant state health officer for disease control and prevention, said “While enhanced surveillance associated with this cluster is no longer necessary, health care providers are encouraged to continue routine year-round influenza surveillance activities and submit specimens to the state laboratory for testing.”