Diagnosis Unknown: In the Heart of Human Crisis
Diagnosis: Unknown: The extraordinary stories of doctors, patients and the fight to survive.
S01:E01 - Tracking a Killer
After a nurse treats five cases of pneumonia in a single night outside of Roanoke, Virginia, she notifies local health officials. Tests confirm that the patients have contracted Legionnaire’s disease, an acute and often deadly form of pneumonia that spreads and escalates rapidly. A week later, a 50-year-old man is dead and there are a total of 15 confirmed cases. Testing by the CDC reveals that all of the patients are infected with the same strain of bacteria.
S01:E02 - Tainted Blood
Health officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico face an outbreak of a rare and fatal blood disorder. Patients suffer sharp muscular pain, fatigue, fever and rashes. Twenty-one people die from the illness. Five other states report similar cases. The epidemic is spreading. The Center for Disease Control assists federal and state health officials in their hunt for the cause. After six months of relentless investigation, researchers unravel the mystery.
S01:E03 - New Epidemic
In late August of 1999, an infectious disease specialist in Queens, New York reports that she has two elderly patients with neurological disorders. More cases crop up in the following days, several patients die. Initial tests confirm that New York has been hit by an outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness, St. Louis encephalitis. Nearly a month later, exotic birds begin to die at the Bronx Zoo. Zoo officials discover they have been infected with West Nile.
S01:E04 - Invisible Threat
In August of 1998, Marilyn Miller is awakened by her son’s frightened cries. She finds him suffering from a dangerously high fever and severe abdominal pains. As doctors work to stabilize him, she begins to feel the sickening symptoms herself. Doctor’s suspect a food poisoning outbreak and direct her to call the Minnesota Department of Health. Within days, the department receives several more phone calls and launches an investigation.
S01:E05 - Summer Exposure
On the tiny resort island of Martha’s Vineyard, landscaper, Patrick Ryer, suffers from chills and high fever. Patrick has contracted Tularemia, a rare bacterial disease. Health officials alert residents and tourists who crowd the Vineyard over the summer holiday. Over the next month, ten more people are diagnosed with the disease, including other landscapers and children. Medical investigators from the Center for Disease Control and state officials search for a common link.
S01:E06 - Unlikely Source
A hospital in Walkerton, Ontario is flooded with patients with the same alarming symptoms. All suffer from fever, nausea and gastrointestinal problems. Health officials suspect water contamination, but the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) reports that the water is safe. The next day, 20 more patients are admitted with the same symptoms.
S01:E07 - Island Fever
In the summer of 2001, Debby Stoner’s family begins to exhibit severe flu like symptoms. Upon visiting the family, who live in a small village on Maui, doctors discover that others are also suffering from strange symptoms including headaches, fevers and a bizarre red rash. Health officials are concerned they are dealing with a terrifying virus that is spread by mosquitoes. It is an outbreak of Dengue Fever, imported to the island by travelers from Tahiti.
S01:E08 - Home Invasion
For months, members of the McGuire family suffer from chronic illnesses, bronchitis, pneumonia and abdominal pains, fever and chills. Amy’s mother watches a report on television warning of the dangers of mold in houses. She contacts the local children’s hospital, where doctors have seen eight infants suffering from similar ailments, all from living conditions similar to the McGuire’s. Investigators inspect the home and discover spores of a toxic mold.
S01:E09 - Sudden Death
During December of 1999, public health authorities in Alberta, Canada are notified of two cases of a rare form of bacterial meningitis. A third reported case claims the life of a seventeen-year-old. Soon after, six more cases are reported and another young life is taken. Health officials think a new strain of the bacteria may be invading the population. The Public Health Authority must act quickly to vaccinate and immunize over 50,000 young people before the bacteria claims any more victims.
S01:E10 - Toxic Exposure
In December of 1979, a young girl passes out on a bus in Wisconsin. She is taken to the hospital complaining of a sore throat, fever and aching muscles. Doctors believe she has the flu, until her blood pressure drops and her kidneys begin to fail. When additional women begin exhibiting similar symptoms, which bring them close to death, doctors fear an outbreak of toxic shock syndrome. After nearly one year, officials determine the cause of the outbreak, which has already killed seven.
S01:E11 - Deadly Spores
Canadian doctors are alarmed when a middle-aged woman dies of cryptococcal meningitis in 1999. Over the next few years, doctors see dozens of similar infections with pneumonia-like symptoms including shortness of breath, weight loss and severe headaches. Vancouver Island becomes home to the largest outbreak of the deadly fungus anywhere in the world.
S01:E12 - Dangerous Catch
In 1993, aquatic researcher Joanne Burkholder suffers an array of troubling symptoms: memory loss, confusion, numbness and a burning sensation on the skin. A fellow researcher confides that he has recently been plagued by symptoms identical to Burkholder’s. He accidentally splashes aquarium water on his arm and within minutes lesions appear on his skin. A neurologist determines that the scientists’ symptoms are somehow related to their work with Pfiesteria.
S01:E13 - Flesh Eater
When an unpredictable germ terrifies Texas in 1998, the CDC and health officials alert all neighboring states and territories to be on the lookout for streptococcus outbreak, the same bacteria that causes strep throat. This new strain, however, will kill 33 people, causing flesh-eating viruses, introducing deadly toxins into the blood and introducing pneumonia. Before the bacteria is contained, physicians from the United States and Canada will have to work together to fight the deadly strain.