HOUSTON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - There is a mystery brewing in south Alabama. An illness has hospitalized several people, killing two of them.
It is something that leaves the patient struggling to breathe.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is putting everyone on notice about a mystery illness. Epidemiologists are conferring with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about a cluster of respiratory illnesses.
The origin of the illness is unknown, but it is striking people in the Houston County area. So far, seven people have been hospitalized with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Two of those patients have died.
Lab specimens have been collected and are being studied. For now, both the Public Health Department and the CDC are recommending hospitals use respiratory protocol when dealing someone with such an illness, meaning masks and gloves.
If you or someone you know has symptoms including cough, fever, or shortness of breath, make sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.