Dr. Ian Mackay at VDU's blog, has posted this: Texan flu step: flu-like illness outbreak in Montgomery County [UPDATED]. Excerpt, with his boldface and links:
4/8 cases died and none of the fatal cases were vaccinated against influenza (?survivors were vaccinated). Kidney issues have also been reported according to a video report at the Houston Chronicle.
1/4 surviving case has tested positive for influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, which is circulating locally as the annual flu season is well engaged in the region. 2 other survivors have tested NEG for all influenza viruses. Test results are outstanding on the other survivor.
Management steps include staying away from ill people, hand-washing using soap and water/alcohol-based hand rubs, covering coughs and sneezes, staying at home when ill, cleaning linens, eating utensils and dishes used by ill people, and wiping down frequently touched surfaces if likely to be a landing spot for virus from an ill co-habitant/co-worker/school or daycare child.
It would be interesting to know what testing has been employed for influenza and what other respiratory viruses and bacteria have been tested for and excluded because, despite some enthusiastic but highly misleading and inflammatory guesswork, there are not yet enough data to identify an infectious aetiology for this pneumonia cluster. I'm sure in a busy environment like this, work is progressing on many levels to resolve the mystery. Since at least 2 of the 8 patients have tested negative for influenza viruses, it is premature to extrapolate from the 1 positive case that H1N1 is the cause of all cases; it may be but those results are not yet in.