A mysterious lung disease is striking dentists in Virginia, according to a new report.
So far, health officials have identified nine dentists or dental workers who were diagnosed with the disease, called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, all of whom were treated at the same specialty clinic in Virginia, according to the report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The disease is often fatal: Of the nine cases, seven have died, the report said.
Overall, dentists made up 1 percent of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis cases seen at the clinic. But that's still a strikingly high rate - it's 23 times higher than what would be expected based on the number of dentists in the U.S. population. [11 Surprising Facts About the Respiratory System]