CDC: Fungus cluster after Joplin tornado a first

JOPLIN, MO (AP) - The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a dangerous fungus found in 13 people injured in the Joplin tornado was the first known cluster occurring after a tornado.

The Joplin Globe reports that the agency says no cases of mucormycosis (MYOO'-kohr-MY'-koh-sis) have been reported since June 17 - about four weeks after the May 22 tornado that has now claimed 160 lives.

The CDC's report Friday says the infected patients ranged in age from 13 to 76 and had injuries including lacerations, fractures and blunt trauma. The agency says wood splinters were the most common foreign body found in the victims.

Ten of the 13 infected people were admitted to intensive-care units, and five of those died. The report says it's unclear whether the fungus contributed to their deaths.

Information from: The Joplin Globe,

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