Closing in on a Mysterious Killer

The deadly virus that emerged in the Southwest last spring has been isolated -- but not tamed

People who think they're coming down with the flu, especially those living in the Southwest, should beware: the aches, fevers and coughs could mean something far worse. A mysterious ailment emerged last spring in which flulike symptoms become life threatening as tiny blood vessels throughout the lungs begin leaking plasma. Gasping for breath, victims literally start to drown in their own body fluids. The outcome in 27 of the first 45 known cases of the illness has been a quick death.

Unofficially called Four Corners disease, because it was first identified in the region around the intersection of Arizona, New Mexico,...

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