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Joplin tornado official death toll rises to 151

Posted by feww on June 11, 2011

Zygomycosis fungal infection kills more  people injured in Joplin tornado

An infectious diseases physician at Freeman Health System in Joplin says at least nine patients contracted the infection following the injuries they suffered in Joplin tornado, and of those three or four died from  zygomycosis, directly or indirectly.

Some of the 1,000 or so people who were injured by the massive EF-5 tornado contracted the rare but often fatal fungal infection from soil or plant matter traces carried by the twister debris that penetrated their skin.


A supercell thunderstorm tracked from extreme southeast Kansas into far southwest Missouri (NWS Springfield, County Warning Area) late Sunday afternoon and evening (May 22nd).  This storm produced an EF-5 tornado over Joplin, Missouri resulting in devastating damage. This storm generated other tornadoes and wind damage along its path as it moved southeast across far southwest Missouri.  Spotty wind damage also occurred across the remainder of far southern Missouri as the storms moved east.  Additionally, these storms produced flash flooding across far southwest Missouri.  Image and caption: National Weather Service (NWS)

zygomycosis rhizopus

ygomycosis caused by Mucor pusillus


This slide describes the histopathologic changes seen in a heart valve due to zygomycosis caused by Mucor pusillus.CDC. Image ID 4233


This patient presented with a case of a periorbital fungal infection known as mucormycosis, or phycomycosis.Mucormycosis is a dangerous fungal infection usually occurring in the immunocompromised patient, affecting the regions of the eye, nose, and through its growth and destruction of the periorbital tissues, it will eventually invade the brain cavity. Source CDC (1960)- image ID 2831. Click images to enlarge.

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2011 Disasters

2 Responses to “Joplin tornado official death toll rises to 151”

  1. Can you imagine surviving a tornado only to die of this? It’s horrible.

  2. feww said

    Joplin tornado toll reaches 153
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/14/us-weather-tornado-missouri-idUSTRE75C5T920110614
    (Reuters) – The death toll from the May 22 tornado in Joplin, Missouri has reached 153, according to a city statement on Monday.

    That number is up from 151 reported by Jasper County Coroner Rob Chappel late last week. The full list was complied by Chappel and the Missouri Department of Public Safety, said Lynn Onstot, public information officer for Joplin.

    The toll has increased as people die of injuries. Some have died due to a fungal infection from debris that contained soil or plant matter, officials have said.

    One of the deaths is of a police officer struck by lightning while helping at the scene the day after the tornado.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/14/us-weather-tornado-missouri-idUSTRE75C5T920110614

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