Category: Workplace Medical Mystery

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Camp Counselor Illness

After a week of working at an outdoor day camp as a counselor, Daniel began to feel sick with a cough, headache, and a fever. Several other counselors experienced similar symptoms requiring them to miss work. Read the medical mystery here. The camp owners recognized they had a problem and called in the county health department for Read More >

Posted on by Blog Coordinator5 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery: Camp Counselor Illness

Daniel was excited to have his first summer job working at a day camp in Iowa. He was happy to be working outside and with his friends. He and several other teenage counselors reported to work a week before camp started to get the facilities ready for the campers. The clean-up duties included raking leaves Read More >

Posted on by Blog Coordinator26 Comments

North Pole Medical Mystery SOLVED!

Crisis averted. Barring severe weather issues or a catastrophe, it looks like children around the world will receive their presents now that the elves are healthy and back at work. (Read the case details here). After Santa requested a NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation, NIOSH researchers were mysteriously transported to the North Pole to try to figure out Read More >

Posted on by Blog Coordinator10 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery at the North Pole

What is going on at the North Pole? Several elves in the toy making department have reported congestion, cough and shortness of breath. While it is cold and flu season, all of the elves have had their flu shots and the issues seem to be contained to the elves working in the toy shop. A Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA29 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Water Patrol Deputy Gets Sick Out on the Lake

Jim worked as a water patrol deputy for the county sheriff’s office. While working a 10-hour shift in the hot sun over a busy holiday weekend he began to feel sick. It started with a headache while he was working in a channel where hundreds of boaters congregate for a floating party.  He then became Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA2 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery: Water Patrol Deputy Gets Sick Out on the Lake

“Today’s going to be a scorcher–expect highs to reach a balmy 99 degrees!” exclaimed the voice from the radio. Jim grumbled as he listened to the weather report on his drive to work. Jim is a deputy with the county sheriff’s office assigned to the water patrol unit. Hot summer days always bring people out Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA22 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: What is causing a recycling worker’s respiratory distress?

While working at a metal recycling facility, Joe was suddenly overcome with shortness of breath, coughing, chest pressure, and eye irritation. After transport to a local hospital, Joe was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS. Read more about his case here.  What was the cause of his illness? The plume of smoke Joe Read More >

Posted on by R. Reid Harvey, DVM, MPH; Michelle R. Martin, MS; and Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA4 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery: What is causing a recycling worker’s respiratory distress?

Joe worked at a metal recycling facility in Nevada. His typical job duties included operating a material handler to load scrap metal into a shear for crushing. During his shift at the recycling facility, Joe looked up to see a plume of thick yellow smoke swirl around a pile of scrap metal and was suddenly Read More >

Posted on by R. Reid Harvey, DVM, MPH; Michelle R. Martin, MS; and Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA7 Comments

Medical Mystery Solved: What Sent a Pregnant Prison Worker to the Hospital?

  Jasmine worked at a prison in Central California. She became sick with flu like symptoms when she was 8 months pregnant. Read her work history here. She was hospitalized with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and severe muscle pain and diagnosed with pneumonia. After a blood test, Jasmine’s doctors diagnosed her with Valley Fever or Coccidioidomycosis. Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA 1 Comment

Medical Mystery: What Sent a Pregnant Prison Worker to the Hospital?

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 Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA 22 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Influenza-like Illness strikes Worker at Wildlife Refuge

Just before entering veterinary school, Michelle found a summer job at a wildlife refuge. She spent most of her time caring for Asian and African elephants until she came down with what she thought was the flu. Had she been around anyone who was sick? Had she travelled anywhere recently? Michelle’s doctor needed to ask Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA2 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery: Influenza-like Illness strikes Worker at Wildlife Refuge

Michelle was thrilled to have landed a job at a wildlife refuge in the Ohio River Valley the summer before she started veterinary school. She hoped to specialize in zoological medicine and work with zoo animals. Three months into her summer job, Michelle came down with the flu—or so she thought. An animal lover, Michelle Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA16 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Fire Training Officer Lands in Hospital with a Distressing Lung X-Ray

Bob, an experienced firefighter and trainer started to experience chest pain, shortness of breath, and a cough with blood following a firefighter training that he set up and led. At the emergency room, the doctor ruled out a blood clot in his lungs. However, an x-ray did show Bob had small nodules in his lungs. Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA1 Comment

Workplace Medical Mystery: Fire Training Officer Lands in Hospital with a Distressing Lung X-Ray

Bob was an experienced firefighter. He worked for 17 years as a member of his city’s fire suppression team working his way up to fire captain. After 5 years as captain, Bob decided to transition to the role of fire training officer where he could work five 8-hour shifts per week instead of 24 hour Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA12 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Influenza-like Illness Sickens Golf Course Worker

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Golf Course Worker Becomes Ill with an Influenza-like Illness With five golf course maintenance staff sick, the golf course superintendent was suspicious. Either something really contagious is going around or there is something at the course making the staff sick, he thought. Not taking any chances, the superintendent informed the course’s Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA6 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery: Influenza-like Illness Sickens Golf Course Worker

Chris was thrilled to have landed a summer job working at the local golf course. He was going to be a junior in college and he knew forthcoming summers would entail internships in a dark, windowless office. Chris loves playing golf and  this job would give him the opportunity to play for free whenever he had the Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA12 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: Drum Maker Develops a Suspicious Rash

Ousmane, a drum maker living in Washington, DC, was concerned about the lesion that had developed on his forearm. His doctor thought it was likely an infected spider bite, but after taking antibiotics for 7 days, the sore had gotten worse, not better. Ousmane decided to go see an infectious disease specialist. Laboratory tests showed Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA1 Comment

Workplace Medical Mystery: Drum Maker Develops a Suspicious Rash

He thought it was an insect bite. Ousmane immigrated to the United States from West Africa when he was just 20. Now living in Washington, DC, he has a thriving business making and repairing traditional West African drums as well as teaching workshops and playing around the city with his performance troupe or with friends Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA31 Comments

Workplace Medical Mystery Solved: An Unknown Exposure Leaves a Child with High Amounts of Lead in her Blood

The local health department conducted a lead risk assessment of Michelle and Ted’s house that turned up some interesting findings. While their home was built before 1978—when lead-containing paint was banned by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission—no lead-based paint was found in the house. The homes that were demolished to make way for the Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA1 Comment

Workplace Medical Mystery: Unknown Exposure Leaves Child with High Blood Lead Levels

  It was just a routine well child exam. A simple blood test showed 13 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) of lead in two-year-old Sarah’s blood; 8 µg/dL more than the 5 µg/dL the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)recommends as a reference level for determining if a child’s blood lead level is much Read More >

Posted on by Stephanie Stevens, MA25 Comments