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Mystery illness leaves two dead in Alabama, 8 hospitalized

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   May 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM   |   Comments

May 22 (UPI) -- The Alabama Department of Public Health reported yesterday that seven cases of a mysterious respiratory illness had been diagnosed. Two have died, according to WSFA.

The number has now climbed to 10, but no more patients have died. Two have been released from the hospital. The sickness has been cited in eight counties in south Alabama, including Barbour, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties.

The ADPH expects results from the Centers for Disease Control on Thursday. Doctors have not yet determined what causes this respiratory illness, but said that each patient had a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Each of the patients had pneumonia as well as the mystery illness.

The two that died had different strains of influenza. The public health offices are monitoring the illnesses closely and keeping records on where the cases spring up. For now, health officials are treating the sickness like they would standard flu.

None of the patients are connected to one another, and none have traveled out of the country recently.

Follow @cmlee and @UPI on Twitter.
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