Tornado Disease?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Following the deadly tornado that ripped through Joplin, Mo., a strange fungus was found growing in the wounds of some of the injured.

Now with hundreds dealing with disaster in Moore, Okla., KFOR in Oklahoma City takes a look at the common factor among those infected with potentially fatal fungal soft-tissue infection.

While rare, experts said it could happen after any tornado or natural disaster.

“It looks like bread mold growing in your muscle,” said Dr. Douglas Drevets, Chief of Infectious Diseases at OU College of Medicine.

It’s a potentially fatal fungus found growing in the wounds of the injured. The problem comes in all of the debris thrown about by the storm, specifically rotting tree branches, 2×4’s or any type of wood splinter.

“It’s really something that has to be slammed in to your body,” Dr. Drevets said.

It impacts the soft tissue and basically implants a fungus directly into your body’s soft tissue following blunt-force trauma.

It’s an injury type common among tornado victims.

There were 13 cases confirmed with the Centers for Disease Control, according to the report. Only two deaths occurred.

Experts say it’s not only found after a natural disaster but after any traumatic event where an object is forced into your body.

“These are folks who really sustained massive damage to their skin and muscle tissue,” Drevets said.

Experts say those with diabetes or who are undergoing cancer treatments are most at risk for the infection.

Most of the injuries that could lead to the infection would likely cause hospitalization.

However, doctors said you should have any wound treated if you start to notice it changing colors, especially if it turns black.

For more coverage of the Moore, Okla., tornado, visit