Deadly Fungus Strikes Joplin Tornado Survivors, Volunteers

The Springfield News-Leader reports as many as nine cases have been reported in tornado victims across the area in various hospitals. Once the aggressive fungus — called zygomycosis — enters the body, it causes the death of infected cells. Three or four patients, who otherwise would have survived their wounds, have died from it.

If the fungus stays in a limb, like an arm or leg, some treatments have necessitated amputation to save the patient. Others with wounds near the head weren’t so lucky — as soon as brain tissue started dying, it was too late to save the patient.

The National Institutes of Health says this rapid form of infection most often occurs in patients with suppressed immune systems. One study in 2009 noted a diabetes patient who died of the fungal infection at age 48. Despite being treated early, the man’s health rapidly declined as the fungus spread through his lungs.

Infections spread through the blood and affects blood circulation. It is unknown how many people may be suffering from infections, but the problem doesn’t stop with those injured by the tornado.

KYTV in Springfield reports those helping with cleanup efforts may become scratched by nails or splinters and any fungus residue on those objects may infect someone.

Anyone with diabetes should be extremely careful. The National Institutes of Health lists severe symptoms of the infection: fever, headache, sinus pain, and swelling. Complications that can arise from these fungal infections include nerve damage, blindness, blood clots to the brain and lungs, or even death in extreme cases.

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As reported by this ministry 5/10/11: The coming epidemics from tainted water will begin to spread shortly. Hospitals will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people that are infected. Boiling water is still the best defense against water born diseases, and should also be boiled to bathe with. People living in flooded areas should follow this precaution.

The animal kingdom will also suffer from the effects. Those with pets in the infected areas should boil their drinking water also. Pets that are permitted free range will become infected. Livestock will also be at risk from the new strains of bacteria that are in the toxic brew if permitted to drink the tainted water.