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Published: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 @ 3:07 PM
BRIDGEPORT, Calif. — A California tour guide is in critical condition after he contracted a rare and potentially deadly respiratory disease spread by deer mice.
Spencer Fry, 22, of Sacramento, remained on a ventilator in the intensive care unit Monday at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Roseville, where he has been since his family rushed him to the emergency room earlier this month. It was there that Fry was diagnosed with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a dangerous infection that comes from exposure to hantavirus-infected rodents, their urine or their droppings.
The California Department of Public Health explained that patients become infected by breathing in air contaminated with dried rodent waste. In California, only deer mice carry the sin nombre virus, the specific hantavirus that causes the syndrome.
About 36 percent of cases of HPS are fatal.
According to Fox 40 in Sacramento, Fry was working as a tour guide at Bodie State Historic Park, a gold-mining ghost town east of the Sierra Nevadas and about 75 miles from Lake Tahoe, and sleeping in a cabin there.
Fry’s family told Fox 40 that they visited him over the July 4 holiday, at which time he complained of a headache each day. They grew concerned when he woke up with a fever of 104 degrees.
Fry’s sister, Chantal Todoroff, wrote on a YouCaring page set up on his behalf that the family insisted her brother return to Sacramento with them. Two hours after returning home, they were in the emergency room.
“After a couple of hours in the ER, vomiting began and his lungs began to fill with fluid,” Todoroff wrote.
He was rushed to the ICU, where he was sedated and put on a ventilator because he could no longer breathe on his own.
“There is no cure or treatment for hantavirus, so the Kaiser staff is doing everything they can to keep his vitals stable and major organs functioning as they allow his body to fight the virus,” Todoroff wrote.
She updated the page Tuesday, stating that her brother is awake and communicating with family by using a whiteboard. He remained on the ventilator and doctors continued to drain fluid from his lungs.
“Through everything, Spencer is still maintaining his sense of humor and staying very positive,” Todoroff wrote.
Though the California Department of Parks and Recreation has not confirmed that Fry contracted hantavirus at Bodie, his family believes that is the case. His father, Curtis Fry, told Fox 40 that his son could hear mice running around inside the cabin where he slept.
The news station reported that another person died after contracting hantavirus at Bodie in 2011.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there was also an outbreak of hantavirus infections among overnight visitors to Yosemite National Park in the summer of 2012. Eight of the 10 cases saw the person experience hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and five ended up on ventilators.
Three of those infected at Yosemite died, the CDC said.
Early symptoms of the illness include fever, fatigue and muscle aches, the CDC said. A sufferer may also have headaches, like Fry did, as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
The more dangerous later symptoms, which appear four to 10 days after the illness begins, include fluid in the lungs, shortness of breath and coughing. According to the CDC, one survivor described the feeling of the building fluid as “a tight band around (his) chest and a pillow over (his) face.”
Published: Saturday, December 02, 2017 @ 12:24 PM
PHOENIX — A young mother of two in Arizona died just one day after receiving a flu diagnosis, devastated family members said.
Alani Murrieta, 20, was diagnosed with the flu Monday and died Tuesday in the hospital, family members told KSAZ.
Murrieta, the mother of a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old, was healthy before the sudden illness, with no pre-existing health conditions, according to family. She first experienced symptoms Sunday, when she left work early. On Monday, she went to urgent care, where she was diagnosed with the flu and sent home with medications. She was admitted to the hospital Tuesday morning as her symptoms became more severe and she was having difficulty breathing, KSAZ reported.
At the hospital, doctors performed tests and diagnosed Murrieta with pneumonia. She was placed on a ventilator, but her heart stopped. The efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.
Published: Saturday, December 23, 2017 @ 1:09 PM
MIAMI — What began as a mere pimple on his son's face two years ago has grown into a life-threatening 10-pound tumor, Emanuel Zayas' father said.
The Zayas family, who live in Cuba, received a medical visa so the 14-year-old boy can have a complex procedure performed by surgeons in Miami, the Miami Herald reported. Dr. Robert Marx, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the University of Miami Health System, said the tumor is life-threatening because of its weight and its position, which is pressing down on the boy's trachea.
Zayas has trouble getting nourishment because of the tumor, and Marx said if left untreated, the tumor could fracture the boy's neck. The tumor is not cancerous, doctors said.
It will take a surgical team approximately 12 hours to perform the surgery, the Miami Herald reported. Zayas will face future surgeries to reconstruct facial features.
The cost of the surgery is expected to be approximately $200,000. The Jackson Health Foundation is raising money on the family's behalf to help cover medical costs. According to the foundation, Zayas was "born with a disorder called polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a condition that replaces multiple areas of bones with fibrous tissue and may cause fractures and deformity of the legs, arms, and skull."
Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 1:51 PM
DALLAS — A nurse from Oklahoma is suing a plastic surgery center in Texas and her surgeon after she said a procedure has left her permanently paralyzed.
Rolanda Hutton, 44, went to the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute in January for a Brazilian butt lift, WFAA reported. What was supposed to be an outpatient procedure turned into a nightmare for Hutton.
When Hutton awakened from the procedure, she couldn't feel her legs or feet. She told staff, but she says they placed her in a post-operative hotel room instead of taking her to the hospital.
The lawsuit alleges that the doctor injected too much fat into her gluteal muscles, which put pressure on her sciatic nerve. Hutton's attorney, Les Weisbord, called Hutton's condition a medical emergency. By the time Hutton was taken to the hospital, it was too late to repair the nerve damage, WFAA reported.
Doctors have told Hutton she'll never walk again.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, is asking for $5 million to cover Hutton’s future care and lost wages.
Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017 @ 2:15 PM
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Disneyland shut down two cooling towers in October after people who visited the Southern California theme park were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
A dozen cases of the bacterial illness were discovered approximately three weeks ago, the Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed to The Associated Press. All the patients lived or had spent time in Anaheim and nine had visited Disneyland in September. One patient, who hadn’t visited the park, has died.
Legionnaires’ can cause severe pneumonia. It is spread by mist from contaminated water.
Disneyland says it learned about the Legionnaires’ cases in late October and shut down and disinfected two cooling towers that tested for high levels of the bacteria. The towers will reopen once they are no longer contaminated, park officials said.