Tests: No Common Germ Behind Illness Cluster

Posted at: 05/23/2013 12:03 PM | Updated at: 05/23/2013 12:09 PM
By: MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

Health officials say lab tests have ruled out any unusual germ as the cause of nine mysterious illnesses in Alabama.

The tests on seven of the nine patients found common cold and flu viruses. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official on Thursday said the agency found no sign that the illnesses were caused by any single germ.

Meanwhile, Alabama officials said they had added two more cases to the cluster, which included two earlier deaths.

The cluster was first reported earlier this week. Most of the nine were treated at Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan, but one was seen at a hospital in Crenshaw County.

The nine people suffered a flu-like illness with symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath.

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