Deadly Virus and Bacteria Combination in Pulaski County Victims - Tucson News Now

Deadly Virus and Bacteria Combination in Pulaski County Victims is Rare

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Doctor Thomas Kerkering explains co-infection Doctor Thomas Kerkering explains co-infection
Police tape lined a property in Pulaski County on Friday where a trailer was to be tested for the chance of Hantavirus in the death of a mother and daughter.  Julie and Ginger Simpkins were admitted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.  They passed away on Friday.

Even though Hantavirus was officially ruled out yesterday,  they were being treated for Group A Strep , Influenza B and Hantavirus just in case.  The co-infection of Group A Strep and Influenza B is what lead to the deadly outcome in this health investigation. 
 
"This is extremely rare. We do know that Influenza B is common. Group A Strep is common. The two of them occurring together to cause disease is extremely uncommon. For the two of them to occur together to cause this devastating disease that tragically happened in this family is rare. There have only been seven case reports of this in the last fifteen years," explains Carilion Clinic Infectious Disease Specialist, Doctor Thomas Kerkering.

At any given time we can all be carriers of the Group A Strep bacteria.

Group A Strep
* Can cause no symptoms
* Strep throat
* Flesh eating form

 "There is a whole spectrum of disease where you and I an just carry it in our throats which many people do, to the outcomes that we had with these patients and everything in between," says Dr. Kerkering.

Dr. Kerkering calls this health investigation a case of live forensics. They search for answers while treating symptoms.


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