Fungus strikes Joplin tornado victims

Thursday, June 9, 2011 | 11:53 a.m. CDT

JOPLIN — An aggressive fungus is striking Joplin tornado victims, contributing to a handful of deaths.

Doctors told the Springfield News-Leader that at least nine survivors may have contracted blood-vessel invading zygomycosis (ZEYE'-goh-meye-koh-suhs) infections.

Overall numbers weren't available. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department declined to release them, citing patient privacy concerns.

Kendra Williams of the health department said the common fungus likely came from soil or vegetative materials embedded in the skin by the tornado.

After the tornado, Freeman Health System in Joplin treated more than 1,700 patients. An infectious disease specialist there, Dr. Uwe Schmidt, said some wounds that were stitched up during the rush of patients had to be reopened because they weren't adequately cleaned and had debris in them.


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michael britt June 10, 2011 | 9:13 a.m.

This fungus is not rare.

What is rare is for people to go unwashed and without air conditioning for long periods of time.

Infections of indeterminable origins were the reason most people died by age 50 as recently as 120 years ago.

This fungus is omnipresent, particularly in the warm, moist climes of the south, and is of principle concern.

All emergency kits should contain large quantities of military Anti-Fungal powder, purchased surplus, and used on all moist areas of the body daily. Your emergency kit should also contain a steroidal anti-fungal cream and women's yeast infection fluconazole pills.

In the event a fungal infection gets a firm hold on its host, those two items are the only chance you have of survival.

Both are prescription only, but any doctor worth his salt should have no problem prescribing you some to keep for an emergency kit.

Fungus is lethal, you have to catch it and stop it early. Once it’s got you over a large area, you've had it. Secondary infection.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking June 11, 2011 | 5:10 a.m.

Actually most fungi are not lethal in people without immunodeficiency. The most common fungal infections are dandruff, followed by athlete's foot, jock itch, and body ringworm. All are easily treatable with OTC medications.

Hopefullky the colloidal silver spam will get removed, but if not, all colloidal silver has ever been shown to do in humans is give them argyria (a gray-blue discoloration of the skin). In high doses it kills by destroying the kidneys.


(Report Comment)
angel ofori June 11, 2011 | 9:49 a.m.

I agree and now is not the time to self medicate!!! regaurdless of how one got the fungus the best plan of action SEE A DOCTOR!!!

(Report Comment)

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