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Zygomycosis and the Joplin Tornado



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Tragedy in Joplin

Slide 2

July 2011

I think many of us watched on a Sunday afternoon, late in the afternoon, the coverage by the weather channel about the tragedy in Joplin, Missouri where an EF 5 tornado struck the city on that day, May 22, 2011. It was a terrible tragedy. As of June 24, there were 156 people who died as a result of that tornado. There were over 1100 people that were hospitalized and about 30-50 % of the city was destroyed beyond repair. One of the scenes that was shown by the weather channel was the St. John’s hospital. It was so badly damaged that it was condemned and all patients were transferred to other hospitals in the area, actually, within a four state region and there were 183 patients in that hospital. Two patients were lost as a result of the tornado and the rest of them were moved out of the hospital within 90 minutes by the hospital staff. So the hospital was well prepared for a storm like this. They had practiced the drills many times. There were many makeshift treatment stations set up within the city to handle the acute care from all of the people who were injured by the flying debris in the tornado. Many things happened as a result of that tornado. But one of the things that were unsuspected was the appearance of a fungal infection that seemed to infect a number of Joplin residents. And that is a common fungal infection that is not seen very often at all except in transplant patients or people who are immunosuppressed.

Tragedy in Joplin

 


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