Virus Starts Like a Cold But Can Turn Into a Killer

Posted on December 12, 2007 

Virus Starts Like a Cold But Can Turn Into a Killer

Infectious-disease expert David N. Gilbert was making rounds at the Providence Portland Medical Center in Oregon in April when he realized that an unusual number of patients, including young, vigorous adults, were being hit by a frightening pneumonia.

“What was so striking was to see patients who were otherwise healthy be just devastated,” Gilbert said. Within a day or two of developing a cough and high fever, some were so sick they would arrive at the emergency room gasping for air.

“They couldn’t breathe,” Gilbert said. “They were going to die if we didn’t get more oxygen into them.”

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