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Family's 4 Kids Mysteriously Losing Ability to Walk

Doctors still can't pinpoint exactly what their condition is

(Newser) - Having one child with a rare muscular disease would buck the odds; having four kids affected by it is downright astonishing. That's the plight of 23-year-old Rivka, 22-year-old Tziporah, 18-year-old Tzvi, and 15-year-old Racheli Herzfeld, four siblings from Teaneck, NJ, who are fighting what Fox News calls a "... More »

Girl's Rare Illness Keeps Her From Aging

Layla Qualls is among seven children worldwide with Syndrome X

(Newser) - Imagine having a 3-year-old child who still looks like a little baby—but when doctors look at her, they can't figure out what's wrong. That's what the Qualls family in Oklahoma has been experiencing for years, Fox News reports. "She's seen, it seems, like every... More »

Virginia Teen Dies Day After Mystery Illness Strikes

No word yet on what killed Madison Small

(Newser) - Madison Small died Tuesday morning, leaving her Virginia community to mourn—and ask questions. The Broad Run High School senior was killed by what WUSA9 describes as an "as-yet unidentified illness," and little more than that is known. On Sunday, there was nothing amiss; father Tim Small says... More »

Mystery 'Sleeping' Illness Strikes Tiny Town

Village in Kazakhstan struck by 'sleeping sickness'

(Newser) - Activities like cooking, running, and driving a car have gotten a whole lot riskier for villagers in northern Kazakhstan—because they might fall asleep at any moment and stay that way for days, the Smithsonian reports. So far 152 residents in tiny Kalachi have fallen ill with the mystery sickness,... More »

Woman, 72: Delta Kicked Me Off Plane ... for Looking Sick

Suzanne Hays' daughter says her mother was just sleeping

(Newser) - An elderly woman says a Delta crew treated her "like I had leprosy" when they kicked her off a flight earlier this month … for looking sick. Suzanne Hays, 72, tells First Coast News she felt fine as she waited for her flight to Florida to take off on... More »

Here's What Eventually Kills Centenarians

New study looks at causes of death for the 100-and-over crowd

(Newser) - Centenarians really are different than most of us. A study in the UK has revealed that the oldest of the old typically die not of the chronic illnesses that often fell the “younger” elderly, but of infections or frailty, LiveScience reports. Out of almost 36,000 centenarians who died... More »

Why Cancer Just Won't Die

It's partly statistics, partly the nature of the disease: George Johnson

(Newser) - When someone is dying these days, it often seems to be cancer—but that doesn't mean we've lost the war against this dreadful disease, writes George Johnson at the New York Times . Cancer's resilience is partly statistical: Heart disease has plummeted 68% since 1958 while cancer has... More »

CDC Recalls Workers as Salmonella Outbreak Gets Scary

Strain resistant to antibiotics; 'terrible time to be locked out'

(Newser) - The salmonella outbreak that has sickened almost 300 people in 18 states appears to involve much tougher strains of the disease than usual, according to some of the few Centers for Disease Control and Prevention workers still on the job. The illness, traced to raw chicken from California, has put... More »

New Mexico Teen Gets Plague

It's the first US case of 2013

(Newser) - Not long ago, authorities detected plague in a California squirrel ; now, New Mexico is home to the country's first human case of 2013. Typically, about seven Americans get the bacterial illness each year, and in this first instance, the afflicted is a 15-year-old boy. People usually contract it via... More »

Now Yellowstone Knows How Cruise Ships Feel

It's dealing with a norovirus outbreak

(Newser) - A highly contagious virus famed for striking cruise ships is now attacking those on some pretty prominent dry land: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Some 200 have been hit by the norovirus there so far, though tourists have gotten the longer end of the stick, with 150 employees and... More »

Mystery Illness Kills 2 in Alabama

5 others hospitalized with respiratory affliction

(Newser) - State and federal officials are scrambling to investigate a mysterious respiratory illness that has killed two people and left five others hospitalized in southeast Alabama. Officials describe the outbreak as a cluster of illnesses with flulike symptoms, with fever, coughing, and shortness of breath as the most important symptoms to... More »

Stunned Couple Gets the Bubonic Plague

Husband slips into coma for nearly 90 days

(Newser) - Cases of bubonic plague aren't exactly common these days. But when Lucinda Marker and her husband John Tull fell ill on a trip to Manhattan—and realized it might not be the flu—they were smart to go see a doctor. It turned out that plague-infected fleas had bitten... More »

Disease You've Likely Never Heard of Costs US Millions

Little-known Chagas disease sucks $900M a year

(Newser) - A little-known parasitic disease from Latin America costs the US economy $900 million a year, the New York Times reports, even though you've probably never heard of Chagas disease . To put the figure in perspective, the much more publicized Lyme disease costs the US about $2.5 billion, a... More »

Mystery Brain Disease Strikes Women in US

Doctors initially thought it was psychosis

(Newser) - Doctors have been wrestling with a newly discovered illness that attacks mainly young women and looks a lot like psychosis. In Philadelphia, hospitalized women appeared possessed, crying or laughing hysterically one moment and turning catatonic the next. One had seizures and left her arms stuck out in front of her.... More »

This Year's Flu Season Could Be Really Ugly

Dominant strain is a harsh one and off to an early start

(Newser) - Flu season is off to its earliest start in almost a decade, and that could signal rough, tissue-filled days ahead. Five Southern states saw a high number of doctor visits for flu-like symptoms in late November, months earlier than usual, and that has federal health officials warning that we could... More »

Fidel Castro: I'm Not Sick

Reports otherwise are 'dishonest': Cuban ex-leader

(Newser) - Contrary to recent reports, Fidel Castro is doing just fine, he writes in Cuban state media on the heels of his first public appearance in months . "I don't even remember what a headache feels like," he notes, calling the reports—which included claims the Cuban leader was... More »

Ethiopian PM Dies During Treatment for Mystery Illness

Meles Zenawi had been receiving treatment for 2 months

(Newser) - Ethiopia's prime minister has died at an undisclosed location overseas while being treated for a mystery illness, reports Reuters . Meles Zenawi, 57, considered a stabilizing force in Africa, suddenly succumbed to an undisclosed infection in an overseas hospital where he was being treated over the last two months for... More »

Mystery Disease Kills 61 Children in Cambodia

World Health Organization is investigating

(Newser) - A World Health Organization expert says it's too early to know whether a mixture of known diseases or something new is responsible for the deaths of more than 60 children in Cambodia. The mystery disease has killed 61 of the 62 children hospitalized since April, but there's no... More »

Vaccine Could Finally Knock Out Dengue

Disease soared during World War II

(Newser) - It's been decades since dengue fever killed thousands of US and Japanese troops in World War II—yet we still don't have an effective vaccine against it. That could be about to change, Reuters reports: A Paris company is testing just such a drug among children in Thailand,... More »

4th Victim Loses Leg to Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Paul Bales cut himself working on dock in Lake Sinclair

(Newser) - An astounding third victim in Georgia—the fourth in recent weeks in the Southeast—has been infected by a flesh-eating bacteria and has already lost his leg to the disease. Paul Bales cut his leg three weeks ago while removing a section of dock on Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville. "... More »

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