- IRVING, Texas -- Health officials
Tuesday were awaiting test results that would reveal what killed a 13-year-old
Irving girl and left her 15-year-old brother in a coma.
- City, county and state public health experts took no
chances ... investigators wore special "protective suits" to
go into the house.
- According to investigators, the girl died Sunday from
an unknown cause.
- Officials also said that the boy became critically ill
a week ago, suffering a high fever and difficulty breathing.
- Both teens shared the same bedroom with three other siblings,
who have been hospitalized as a precaution.
- "I think our biggest concern right now is to make
sure there's not some type of infectious disease process that's of a concern
that we have to watch out for," Dr. James Zoretic said.
- Zoretic, the director of the Texas Department of Health,
said Legionnaires' disease is a possibility.
- However, until the mystery is solved, officials have
quarantined the home while they collect test samples.
- "We found three air conditioners, nothing obviously
wrong with them," Irving Health Department investigator Robb Nance
said. "We did swab samples on all three air conditioners. We went
into the shower and did a swab sample on the head and took a water sample
from the shower."
- Investigators said they also removed from the house what
they called "herbal medicine."
- Unidentified neighbors said the family doesn't believe
in doctors, and that the children may never have received basic immunizations
to prevent illness.
- Meanwhile, child welfare agents are also investigating
whether the parents are providing proper child care. However, officials
did not take custody of the couple's remaining children.
- The parents have not been sick and were not hospitalized.
- However, officials late Tuesday morning announced that
the children's grandfather, who lives in a house across the street, had
also fallen ill.
- Todays news--
- Officials Identify Fatal 'Mystery Illness'
- State Health Officials Know What Killed Girl
- IRVING, Texas -- State health officials Wednesday identified
the illness that killed a 13-year-old Irving girl and left her 15-year-old
brother in a coma.
- According to officials, an illness known as "walking
pneumonia" is responsible for killing Rachel Johnson (left) and sickening
her brother, Mathew (right).
- Officials also confirmed that the teens' three other
siblings, who had been hospitalized as a precautionary measure, also have
the illness and are being treated.
- Officials said that the children's parents were not ill.
- However, despite their findings, health officials said
they don't know why both children had such sudden and severe reactions
to the illness.
- According to the family's pastor, Dr. Steve Nutter, officials
are looking into other factors that may have contributed to the severity
of teens' illness.
- Meanwhile, the Health Department has lifted the quarantine
it had previously placed on the family's house before the illness was identified.
- Legionnaires' disease is listed as one of the differential
diagnosis when considering Mycoplasma Pneumonia.
- 'Walking Pneumonia'...My Foot!
- From Patricia Doyle, PhD
- Hello Jeff - I like the diagnosis, 'Walking Pneumonia.'
Right? This sounds a lot like Madagascar.
- I noticed that the health department went into the home
with "space suits." All the kids are
- I have been corresponding with Pasteur lab Madagascar
and am told they operate at level 2. That is strange. Also, they claim
m. pneumonae is not a coinfection of the "flu" in Madagascar.
- I wonder if we will hear more cases like this? 'Walking
pneumonia' my foot. Public health must think that the public is stupid.