An unidentified illness has taken the lives of two area high school students, with a third teenager in critical condition.
According to KHOU Channel 11, health officials report that all three have shared similar symptoms that appear to begin with pneumonia-like ailments before quickly devolving into seizures and respiratory failure.
The medical mystery started in February when Liberty County resident Tyler Lane Budro developed a fever that was followed by violent seizures just days later. The 17-year-old junior at Hull-Daisetta High School died on March 10.
Within the next month, two other unnamed Montgomery County students were treated with near-identical issues. One of victims, a teenaged girl, died on April 29, while the other remains in serious condition at a Houston hospital.
Dr. Syed Ibrahim, an epidemiologist with the Montgomery County Public Heath Department, says upwards of 30 tests have been conducted on the students, including those for meningitis and rabies. All results have come back negative.
"I'm really concerned. I'm sad as well because these are the cases of the teenagers in our county," Ibrahim said. "I've been working in this country for almost 10 years . . . It's very rare not to come up with any diagnosis."
KHOU reports that the disease or diseases do not appear to be contagious. Autopsies are being performed, but results could take several months.
Watch the full KHOU Ch. 11 report: