An Iowa woman has died of Legionnaires Disease. The contagious respiratory illness got its own chapter in medical history thirty years ago when it proved to be the cause of a fatal outbreak at a hotel convention in 1976. The Iowa Department of Public Health tracks cases of the disease, and spokeswoman Nicole Peckum says this is no outbreak.
This year to date, 9 confirmed cases of Legionnaires Disease across the state have been scattered around the state, and even the six that occurred in five eastern Iowa counties have been sporadic, and the agency doesn’t see any connection. She says Legionnaires Disease isn’t a new one here, and each year the public-health agency tracks anywhere from eight to 20 cases.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen newspaper reports today (Friday) that a 57-year-old woman died at University Hospitals a couple of weeks ago, though hospital officials have said that illness and chemotherapy may have weakened her immune system.
Two more deaths may be linked to tainted salad greens, in other parts of the country.
A Maryland woman has died with an e-coli infection, and a two-year-old boy in Idaho died from a kidney disease associated with e-coli infection, though they’re still checking out both cases. The state public-health department’s Nicole Peckum says Iowa’s still free from any cases of the illness.
There aren’t any cases of e-coli in Iowa associated with eating bagged spinach, though people are still being urged to throw out any they may have, and not eat the pre-packaged greens till further notice. An icy night earlier this left frost in some parts of the state, but Peckum says that wasn’t cold enough to ensure you’re free from the risk of a mosquito bite, or infection with the West Nile Virus carries by some species of the biting bug.
Until Iowa has its first “hard frost,” which means freezing temps or colder everywhere in the state, the risk will remain, and so far about 21 human cases have been confirmed, scattered all over the state. She says you should still take precautions against being bitten, for now.