Friday, May 24, 2013

Alabama Outbreak a 'Pseudocluster,' Not H7N9

An outbreak of respiratory illness in Alabama turned out to be a "pseudocluster" of unrelated disease, an official said.

Testing ruled out coronaviruses and the novel H7N9 avian influenza now affecting China, according to Mary McIntyre, MD, of the Alabama Department of Public Health.

State officials had been concerned by seven cases -- including two deaths -- in which people presented with fever, cough and shortness of breath of unknown origin, said McIntyre, who is assistant state health officer for disease control and prevention.

"It was a pseudocluster," she told MedPage Today. The seven patients had influenza A (H1N1), rhinovirus, or bacterial pneumonia, and in some cases a combination of the illnesses.