Health officials probe deadly respiratory illness in Alabama
(Reuters) - U.S. and state health authorities are investigating an unidentified respiratory illness that has killed two of 10 people hospitalized with it in Alabama since last week.
Preliminary tests do not indicate the bird flu, nor a new mutation of any known influenza virus, said Dr. Mary McIntyre, an assistant state health officer at the Alabama Department of Public Health. Two patients did test positive for the H1N1 strain of the flu.
The first checked into a hospital last week, and the most recent patients were hospitalized on Wednesday. One person has been released, one is improving and the others are still suffering from their initial symptoms, according to McIntyre.