The status of three sick men who arrived in New Orleans on September 17th aboard a ship from Africa has turned more serious after being reevaluated. Local health officials, who first diagnosed crew members of Marine Phoenix with Malaria, have announced further testing revealed the men are infected with Popeye’s Belly, a far worse condition than originally thought.
Doctors with the Centers for Disease Control and West Jefferson Medical Center confirmed the diagnosis after an inspection of the ship’s cabin revealed empty three-piece combo boxes, cartons of mashed potatoes and red beans and rice, and thousands of crumbs from warm, buttery biscuits.
“I’ve seen many disgusting things in my 35 years of work, but this was the worst I’ve ever encountered,” said CDC’s head of contagious diseases Tommy Mason, who recently returned from the West African Ebola outbreak. “My God, the humanity.”
Mason said doctors originally misdiagnosed the crew members because of similar symptoms shared by Popeye’s belly and malaria: Nausea, vomiting, fever, chills and, if not treated, possible death.
“We think we’ll be able to save them and they’ll make a full recovery,” he said. “We’re just thankful they didn’t eat any of the chicken and waffles tenders, because there’s no known cure for that.”