Home RSS  Gold   Silver  Join Follow About  Contact Publish Donate! Help
Mathaba.Net Mathaba - bypass the gate-keepers 
Printable version See our news feeds? toolbar

  US Health


Rapid City Mayor among victims of Legionniare's disease

Posted: 2005-08-07
From: Rapid City Journal
    Share on TwitterFacebook
Among the seven Rapid City victims of this summer's Legionnaire's disease outbreak was Rapid City's own mayor, Jim Shaw, he confirmed Friday.


By Dan Daly, Journal Staff Writer

RAPID CITY -- Among the seven Rapid City victims of this summer's Legionnaire's disease outbreak was Rapid City's own mayor, Jim Shaw, he confirmed Friday.

Shaw said he has no idea how he contracted the disease. "It's a real mystery and frankly kind of scary," the mayor said Friday in a telephone interview from his home, where he is recovering from heart surgery.

He believes the Legionnaire's disease stressed his body and exacerbated a heart condition that had not been diagnosed before. On July 25, after he recovered from the disease, Shaw underwent heart bypass and valve replacement surgery.

"In a way, (Legionnaire's disease) was a blessing in disguise because it revealed my heart issue before it became more serious," he said.

Early this summer, six other Rapid City residents were struck by the same disease, according to the South Dakota Department of Health. One of its victims, Merrilyn Burchell, 55, died of Legionella pneumonia on July 1.

It is unusual to have seven confirmed cases in a small geographic area and in such a short period of time. In a normal year, three to five cases of Legionnaire's disease are reported in South Dakota, state epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger said Thursday.

Officials are looking for any common links between the victims. Shaw said he was asked a number of questions about where he had been and what he had been doing.

As of Thursday, no link between the Rapid City cases had been found.

Legionellosis, named for the 1976 outbreak at an American Legion convention, is a bacterium-based disease that can cause a severe form of pneumonia. It can be found in creeks, ponds, hot and cold water taps, hot-water tanks, water from air-conditioning systems and soil from excavation sites. It is not spread from person to person.

Shaw said he began feeling ill the day after the June 21 Base Closure and Realignment Commission, or BRAC, meeting.

"Quite frankly, I attributed it to kind of a letdown after everybody being keyed up from the BRAC meeting," he said.

But it turned out to be more than a letdown. By the following weekend, the aches and listlessness got worse, and he developed a fever. The next week, his doctor told him he had pneumonia and prescribed antibiotics.

The antibiotics didn't help, and by the following weekend, his fever reached 103.8 degrees. He was admitted to Rapid City Regional Hospital on July 1. It was there that Dr. Jorge Reyno, infectious disease specialist, told him he had Legionnaire's disease.

"I said, ‘Doctor, I'm old enough to remember Legionnaire's disease,'" Shaw recalled. A different type of antibiotic was prescribed, and Shaw's condition improved.

At the time, state health officials asked Shaw not to publicly announce that he had Legionnaire's disease. He said they wanted to investigate the cases without causing a panic. When he was hospitalized July 1, his illness was listed as pneumonia.

Contact Dan Daly at 394-8421 or
spacer
Twitter Facebook
Related: 
#
  Is this item incorrect? Please click here to report it!  
 E-MAIL THIS    COMMENT ON THIS    HOME PAGE    PRINT THIS   Printable version Share on Facebook Share on Twitter    Email this article
    REDDIT    DIGG    DELICIO.US   FACEBOOK   RE-TWEET it!    MANY MORE OPTIONS... 

 View and/or Add Comments to this Article 

The link for this item is: www.mathaba.net/news/?x=297441   Copyrights!  
Send this article via Outlook or via web/other Email
Mathaba relies on your support for independent as well as investigative journalism. Please subscribe for a small fee and also join our free Daily Briefing. More options here.

:: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
::  We always mention the author and link the original site and page of every article. Disclaimer




MAIN INDEX PAGE
ALL TOPICS
NEWS ALERTS!

Mathaba Google
Advertise here
Follow us on Twitter


heyu

INFO PARTNERS:^ TOP ^
USEFUL LINKS:^ TOP ^

Webutation Score

Free Web Stats


Check out our Android App!
spacer
RSS Facebook Twitter
  Mathaba Now: click here Reader Information
search

get our free news alerts

Get our daily briefing!

Enter your email address:

Not sure? Try it out! Each Email has an easy unsubscribe link. Or find out why you should sign up:

See Reader Testimonials

Important information tools!
Most Commented:

Recently Commented:


Live chat services by Olark






China Wholesale


Follow Mathaba