Archive Number: 20120306.1062870
RESPIRATORY ILLNESS - USA: (MARYLAND) FATAL CLUSTER, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
A ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org
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International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
Tue 6 Mar 2012
Source: 4 NBC Washington [edited]http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local ... 60013.html
Cluster of deaths following flu-like symptoms in Calvert County
The Calvert County Health Department [CCHD] is investigating a cluster of deaths following respiratory illnesses in the Lusby area. The county health department told News4 that 4 family members who live near the Calvert Cliffs nuclear facility fell ill with an unidentified respiratory illness at the end of February,  and 3 died this month.
An 81 year old woman was the 1st to become sick, in late February. The woman's 3 adult children, 2 daughters and a son, traveled to her home to care for her. Subsequently, they became sick with similar health problems.
According to the health department, the 81 year old who died presented symptoms of respiratory illness on 23 Feb 2012 and died on 1 Mar 2012. The children showed symptoms around 28 Feb 2012, and were hospitalized in critical condition. Several days later, the 58 year old son and the 56 year old daughter died, and the 3rd daughter remains hospitalized.
Health officer David Rogers, in a statement released on 6 Mar 2012, said the county health department does not believe the illness represents a widespread health threat. "The cases appear to be confined to a single family," Rogers wrote, "and there are currently no other affected individuals at this time. CCHD is not recommending any protective actions for the general public."
In an earlier statement, the county erroneously reported 4 deaths.
The department recommends people with flu-like symptoms like fever, cough, or sore throat contact their doctors to see if they would benefit from antiviral or other medications. Currently, county health officials are not advising any specific preventive measures.
CCHD sent a message to area residents to say it was working together with health care providers to monitor the situation and determine a cause for the respiratory illness. A spokesperson told News4 the victims' proximity to the power plant was not believed to be a factor.
On Monday afternoon, a crew of health workers dressed in hazardous material suits entered the woman's house and collected more samples for testing.
[byline: Melissa Mollet]
[This cluster of deaths within the same family due to an unidentified respiratory illness is an unusual event. Proximity to the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant is not considered to be a relevant factor, but specific diagnosis of the cause of these fatal illnesses will be necessary to reassure the local community.
Lusby is located in Calvert County, Maryland, and includes residents of the Chesapeake Ranch Estates-Drum Point community. The Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, and a compressed natural gas plant run by Dominion Resources, are both nearby. See map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lusby,_Maryland
. - Mod.CP]