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Microbes in the Mansion: US Presidents and their Bacteria

uBiome has put out a an appropriately timed article highlighting all the presidents that we have lost to bacteria related issues. Below is a brief summary of troubles in the white house that were belived to be caused by bacteria. I suggest reading the article for the full explanation.

  • William Henry Harrison – gastroenteritis (a bacteria infection)
  • James Knox Polk – gastrointestinal infection
  • Zachary Taylor – gastrointestinal infection
  • George Washington – Haemophilus influenzae bacterium
  • William McKinley – septic shock / gangrene (gunshot)
  • Calvin Coolidge Jr. (presidents son) – Staphylococcus aureus (untreated toe blister)


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