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Other reports came into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the course of that flu season. When the CDC counted up the following summer, there had been 15 cases of severe MRSA pneumonia in 9 states. Four of them died. CDC personnel wrote another article warning of the dangers of MRSA and flu two years later, after clusters of cases in Louisiana and Georgia during the 2006-07 flu season. They said: “Secondary S. aureus pneumonia is a potentially catastrophic complication of influenza… MRSA [community-acquired pneumonia] often affects young, otherwise healthy persons and can be rapidly fatal.”
Over two months, there was a 31-year-old woman who was in the hospital for four weeks; MRSA ate holes in her lung, the largest of which was 1 by 1.5 inches. Two other women, 20 and 33 years old, were each hospitalized for three months. The 20-year-old’s heart stopped, and her blood clotting grew so disordered that doctors had to amputate one leg below her knee; the 33-year-old lost both lower legs. The fourth patient was a 52-year-old man, a two-pack-a-day smoker, who died.
Within 48 hours of getting involved in the Calvert County outbreak, the state health department reached the conclusion that the flu had weakened the immune system of those made ill, leading them to develop pneumonia and in the case of Blake’s two adult children who died, MRSA, Phillips said