High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Aug 8 1976, Page 8

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - August 8, 1976, High Point, North Carolina Legionnaires disease still baffling scientists from Page 1a where and what did they eat during the convention stay which hotel did they stay at9 did they visit any hospitality suites for a Beer a cocktail a Sandwich How High did their fever rise9 and did they get a headache chills and cough9 the sleuths also just As carefully contacted hundreds of legionnaires who did t become ill. They asked exactly the same questions to find out Why and How they were spared we want to know what occurred How the agent was transferred to the affected group Quot explains or William Parkin the states chief epidemiologist. Did someone come to the convention already infected9 Quot i Don t know Quot Bachman says then adds. A until we find the virus we Are going to have a hard time working on that. Maybe someone was harbouring a virus that for some reason became virulent Quot the first death came tuesday july 27. Ray Brennan 81, who lived in Athens near the new York Border had been feeling poorly even while he attended legion meetings. He died three Days after the convention listed cause heart attack brought on by lung failure and pneumonia the sickness a High temperature chills headache dry cough a began to fell other legionnaires. It was a silent attack. Four died Friday. July 30 a William Baird 82. Bloomsburg Frank Aveni. 60, Clearfield Francis Grove 70, Altoona and Charles Chamberlain 48, Chambersburg others were hospitalized or. Ernest Campbell of Bloomsburg who was caring for three victims first suspected typhoid fever and immediately contacted the local health Center he was put off. A it s Friday afternoon the weekend is coming a Campbell says he was told a it s doubtful anything could be done a meanwhile the virulence of the mystery malady was intensifying and no one yet knew it linked Only legionnaires. Victim no 6 was counted saturday july 31, a week after the legion gathering he was Julius gag Ginnia 78, of Republic and his doctor and his family thought it was just a sudden attack of pneumonia an old Man could t fight off but then last sunday night while five More legionnaires were dying a worried doctor in Williamsport sounded the alarm that finally launched the full scale epidemic investigation or William Ford treating four patients relayed his suspicions to the District health director who immediately telephoned the office of communicable diseases in Harrisburg when you be got four patients who had been in the same place come Down with what appears to be the same disease. I think that a reason enough to notify them Quot says Ford based on Ford s data. Or. William Schrack former state epidemiologist got the Ball rolling by contacting legion officials. By monday the worst Day when to died the news exploded Bachman making an unplanned Brief Stop in his office before starting a vacation was informed of the epidemic nature of the unknown malady and immediately asked for research help from the Federal Center for disease control Chc i in Atlanta. A i called in every key figure in the department telling them i wanted to know exactly what s going on Quot Bachman says. Two More died on wednesday and another two on thursday. To prevent panic Bachman scheduled twice daily news conferences to a give the Public Good sound and credible the thin and wiry Bachman who left his Anaesthesiologist practice to take the health Post in gov Milton j Shapps Cabinet is a Calm Una affable Man. But the epidemic threat worried him and still does. A the biggest worry was that we were into a highly virulent thing Quot he says a and we knew that flu and other virus diseases Are the uncontrolled communicable diseases. A i feared we were looking ahead to Tough decisions what to do if we had a major epidemic and did t have the tools and knowledge to make sound decisions Quot As Case reports mounted on that first tense Dav Fords from Page i a comparable 73 per cent Mark for the Ford backers five per cent of Reagan delegates earn less than $10,000, compared to three per cent for Ford reflecting the challengers favored position among the 39 students who Are delegates More than 43 per cent of Ford delegates have attended Post graduate College courses compared to 32 per cent of the Reagan group Reagan delegates conversely hold about the same Edge in numbers of delegates who attended but did not graduate from College the ranks of the three other educational categories a College graduates without further work High school graduates Only and persons with less than a High school education a Are nearly identical for both sides the differences in education and income appear essentially to reflect the contrasts in the support for Ford or Reagan in different occupational groups of delegates who own their own businesses. 236 prefer the californian while Only 151 Back Ford homemakers favor Reagan by 4-to-3 in smaller categories Reagan is a 5-to-2 Choice among delegates in sales occupations and a 3-to-2 favorite of those in health services Bachman began to Rule out a lot of things in his mind. A i was pretty certain it was t typhoid fever As Given in a first report or food poisoning or bacterial disease almost All our hospitals have very Good bacteriology labs and the Odds were overwhelming that they would have turned up a bacterial infection if it was the Brief epidemic now apparently abated might have escaped detection had not deaths and sickness been reported to legion Headquarters. Normally 40 to 60 pennsylvanians succumb to pneumonia or pneumonia like diseases each week out of a state population of 12 million health officials report had those involved not had the common Bond of legion membership the unknown malady might never have surfaced a i Felt it was some form of virus some infectious disease Quot Bachman says. A i tended not to consider highly the toxic theory that some poisonous agent was now however with a flu virus and fungi apparently ruled out the Federal and state Laboratory scientists Are putting More emphasis into the search for possible poisons those either produced naturally in bacteria plants or animals or Man made if Man made it raises again the Specter of sabotage that the legionnaires were deliberately at tacked by a person or persons unknown. Legion officials discount it As do the physicians but the Fri reportedly has made some inquiries checking to determine if there had been pre convention threats. None have been disclosed a maybe in a naive and an unsuspecting person generally but it stretches my imagination that a human being could do that that their brains could be that diabolical and that those brains have the capacity and the ability to do anything like that Quot Bachman says in rejecting the sabotage theory but Why then Only legionnaires As victims9 a i done to know the reason now but i know that in scientific things in Medicine especially that there Are lots of things that happen we cannot explain and that we have to accept and we should make every Effort to find out Quot Bachman says. Bachman thinks too the Public too often overestimates what Medicine can do a there is no question there have been some successful medical technology but no where near what the average Public thinks Quot Bachman says. A i have seen strange things before in practising Medicine that i Haven to been Able to explain a i believe in doing All the investigation but i am Content to be open minded to the fact that we done to know so the medical Sham uses snatching a few hours sleep now and then continue to search for common ground that could Supply clues or Point to some trend. In laboratories scientists and technicians taking wary precautions against something ukr in but obviously highly dangerous employed Chick embryos tissue culture techniques and the Electron Microscope searching for some virus or Poison. Question after question the experts asked test after test the scientists made and the answers came backs always negative. A we Are looking at things we never looked at before Quot Bachman says a we know what it Isnit but we Don t know what it but one thing was heartening the disease was not spreading beyond the first victims. There would be no fire of an epidemic of unknown cause. Friday just past a week after the first death was the third Day with no new cases among legionnaires. Health officials on that Day also narrowed their definition of what constituted a legionnaires disease the person had been at the convention had a temperature of 102 or higher and a cough or any fever of 102 plus and x Ray evidence of pneumonia. This new description of symptoms Cut the number struck by the disease by less than a third Down from a High of 162 to 135. A a a e Are assured on the basis of our investigation so far that this is not a contagious disease Quot says or. David sender chief of the cd in Atlanta. Echoing the belief of Many medical sleuths in Pennsylvania. Sencer says there is a Good possibility that whatever it was that attacked the veterans group May never be discovered. A there Are Many things that occur that we never do find a cause Quot says Sencer. 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