What's in Your Pipes?

A mysterious TB-like bug called NTM is turning up in shower stalls and hot tubs across the South

Fern Leitman, 56, a longtime Florida resident, thought her repeated bouts of pneumonia were just bad luck. Doctors told Suzan King-Carr, 58, of Hobe Sound, Fla., that the spots on her lungs were probably cancer. Ida Mae Williams, 76, of Bogalusa, La., was informed that she had tuberculosis. Three women, three different diagnoses--all of them wrong. After years of ineffectual treatment, each woman learned that she, like thousands of other Americans, had developed a mysterious lung infection that mimics TB, seems to strike thin, white women in particular and can be permanently debilitating. Most unsettling of all, they could have developed...

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