Hospital: Yokosuka pneumonia strains 'no danger' to public
Military health officials have concluded that a series of pneumonia cases at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, last month, including one that killed a Navy nurse, did not derive from the same strain.
“We found no trends, no spread of the illness and no danger to the community,” Naval Hospital Yokosuka spokesman Bill Doughty said in a statement Monday. “There have been no other cases since April 10.”
On April 12, hospital officials announced they were investigating the death and three similar cases. All four developed symptoms including high fevers, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.
Navy Lt. Julian B. Ortiz II, 38, an intensive-care unit nurse at the hospital, died April 10 from the disease, officials said.
Navy infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists from Hawaii, San Diego and Jakarta, Indonesia, studied the strains of pneumonia in the cases and found they were not infectious and posed no serious risk to the community, Doughty reported.
The specific cause of the pneumonia that killed Ortiz has not been determined.
During the investigation, hospital leaders maintained a Web site with updates and created television spots to keep the public informed on the investigation.