Medical mystery: What sent a pregnant prison worker to the hospital?
From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):
Jasmine worked at a prison in central California that provided long-term housing and services for minimum, medium, and maximum custody inmates. She was 34 years old and had worked at the prison for six years. Jasmine was a correctional officer, and her job duties included security checks, patrolling the facility, and occasionally grid searches and digging for contraband in the soil. When she was in the third trimester of her pregnancy, Jasmine started working in the control booth where she monitored inmate movement. Jasmine continued to intermittently perform perimeter checks around the grounds where it was not uncommon to encounter mice. During a shift in the control booth, the air conditioner stopped working. Jasmine changed the filter, and when that didn’t help, she propped the door open for ventilation. During the process, she cut her finger on the metal air conditioner.
Approximately one week later, Jasmine started feeling sick with flu like symptoms. She thought back to what she had eaten for her last few meals remembering a turkey sandwich for lunch, fried eggs for breakfast and a hamburger for dinner the night before. She also remembered that a co-worker had been diagnosed with influenza the week before. When Jasmine’s symptoms continued to get worse with fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and joint pain she grew more concerned. After a few days she couldn’t get out of bed to go to work. Jasmine’s husband took her to the hospital where she was admitted. What is making Jasmine sick?
Check the NIOSH Science Blog tomorrow for the next installment of Workplace Medical Mysteries to learn what is ailing Jasmine. Think you know? Click here, scroll down and enter your thoughts in the comments section.