Deadly Illness Alabama: What Are The Symptoms Of Unknown Sickness That Killed 2?

By Philip Ross on May 22, 2013 10:23 AM EDT

deadly new illness alabama
Health officials in Alabama are stumped by a new and deadly illness. The unknown sickness, which has already killed two people, leaves patients short of breath. (Photo: Reuters)

A deadly new illness in Alabama put five people in the hospital and killed two others. Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control are scratching their heads over the deadly and mysterious ailment that leaves patients struggling for air.

The mystery illness was first reported in southeast Alabama late last week, according to AP. Seven patients were hospitalized, the last one on Monday. Hospital personnel were urged to wear surgical masks when dealing with any cases of the new and deadly illness.

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WAFF reports that lab specimens have been taken of the mystery illness and are being tested. Health officials at the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control Respiratory Laboratory hope to have preliminary results by today or Thursday.

What are the symptoms of the deadly new illness?

The mystery bug seems to be respiratory. Patients experienced shortness of breath, fever and a cough. Mary McIntyre, a spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Public Health, told AP that some of the patients hospitalized with the strange bug also had the flu.

Respiratory illnesses can affect the nose, mouth, voice box, windpipe, bronchial tubes and the lungs. Some of the more common diseases that affect the respiratory system are laryngitis (swelling of the larynx, or voice box), bronchitis (an infection of the bronchial tubes), pneumonia (lung infection) and influenza, a virus that causes fever, headaches, sore throat and muscle aches.

To protect you during a respiratory disease outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recommends avoiding close contact with infected individuals. And, if you are sick, the CDC says to stay indoors. Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth, because germs enter the body through these openings.

Read more from iScience Times:

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Deadly New Virus Warning: What are the Symptoms Of The Virus That Killed 8?

Bird Flu Vaccine: Is China's Deadly H7N9 Virus Threat On The Decline?

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