Four Montgomery County men dead, four hospitalized with mysterious illness

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - Health officials are trying to figure out what killed four Montgomery County men and hospitalized four others.

Within the last three weeks, doctors said eight men have come down with a mysterious and dangerous flu-like illness.

"They eventually tested negative for influenza A and B (most common), but then went on to develop severe complications," Montgomery County Hospital District Medical Director Dr. Mark Escott said.  "Part of the ongoing investigation is to sort out what exactly is happening with these patients."

The state health department has asked for specimens, but right now those specimens are being tested by an independent lab.  Results are expected as early as Wednesday.  Surrounding health departments like Harris County have also been notified.

All that is being said about the patients is that they are men from Montgomery County between the ages of 41-65.  All were or are being treated at Conroe Regional Medical Center.

For now, officials are asking people to get immediate treatment for flu-like symptoms but not to worry.

"The important thing is for the public not to be alarmed," Dr. Escott said.  "This may be a coincidence that these eight sick patients happen to be at one hospital and while we investigate, they need to practice normal infection control procedures."

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