- Fatal-shooting victim ID'd; uncle said he tried to break up fight (9/29/16)29
- Driver charged with manslaughter in crash that killed 2 (9/27/16)
- Perryville man arrested for alleged patronizing prostitution, harassment (9/23/16)6
- Perryville High principal on leave; no reason given (9/28/16)9
- Video and evidence largely confirm trooper's claims in April traffic stop shooting (9/23/16)9
- Cape man may lose eye after shovel beating, police say (9/25/16)2
- Animal-rescue group receives grant from rock star for spay, neuter assistance (9/28/16)1
- Monia pleads guilty to 9 counts of financial exploitation of elderly; dealings with murderer Joseph clarified (9/28/16)11
- Woman accused of pushing Wal-Mart employee after theft (9/27/16)
- Planning, design puts renovations of H-H building into hotel on hold (9/26/16)6
'X Files'-like project looks for cause of mysterious deaths
ATLANTA -- In a project resembling something out of "The X Files," federal health officials say the causes of a quarter of the deaths that have stumped coroners in recent years appear to be from ordinary, treatable conditions.
The Unexplained Deaths Project is a collection of data on the mysterious deaths of 227 children and adults from 1995 to 2003.
Despite advances in medical technology, a specific cause of death was found for just 53 of the cases, slightly more than a quarter. The findings were presented Monday at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
More than half of the 53 deaths were caused by bacteria that could have been treated with medicines, said Sarah Reagan, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist with the project. Vaccines would have prevented other cases.
Nineteen children's deaths were blamed on flu.
Thirty-seven percent of the determined causes of death involved a respiratory illness and 36 percent were from sepsis, a common bloodstream infection from toxin-producing bacteria. The causes of the remaining deaths included pneumonia and heart problems.
The project was launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to serve as an early warning system for emerging diseases. About a dozen health departments around the country participate.
AIDS, Legionnaires' Disease and hantavirus sickened people for years before the diseases were first identified by health officials, said Reagan.