Thursday, March 31, 2005

Record Marburg Outbreak

The WHO reports 132 cases of Marburg virus in Angola (127 of them fatal) breaking the previous record outbreak in the Congo. As this is an extremely high death rate (96%) even for Marburg, it seems likely that some survivors are going unrecorded.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Marburg Outbreak Nears Record Death Toll

Approximately 121 persons have died of Marburg virus in Angola since the current outbreak began, rivaling the record outbreak in the Congo between 1998 and 2000, in which 123 people died. A Portuguese national is currently hospitalized in Luanda and another died in Portugal on Saturday, soon after returning from Angola.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Marburg Virus Confirmed in Angola

Reuters reports that the mysterious Angolan hemorrhagic fever has been confirmed to be Marburg virus, a relative of Ebola.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Angola's Mystery Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola has been ruled out as the hemorrhagic fever that has killed at least 77 people in Northern Angola since first appearing in November. A post on the ProMED-mail list suggested plague, but the geography of the outbreak makes plague spread from the Congo unlikely. Some reports claim that the victims have mainly been children under 5.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Consumption consumption

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene warns against consumption of some Mexican cheeses--namely, those contaminated with Mycobacterium bovis (bovine tuberculosis), which can cause illness and (rarely) death in humans.
The Health Department has identified 35 cases of tuberculosis caused by M. bovis in city residents between 2001 and 2004. In one of those cases, a 15-month-old child who died in March 2004 was later determined to have died from complications due to M. bovis infection.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Anthrax Scares

The CDC has the latest on recent anthrax incidents.
On March 10th, routine samples from an air sampling device at the Pentagon Remote Delivery Facility were collected and preliminary tests, reported to the Department of Defense (DoD) on March 14, indicated the possibility of the presence of Bacillus anthracis. Also, on March 14th, an alarm at a separate Defense office in the Skyline complex indicated the possibility of the presence of a biohazard. As a result, employees in close proximity to the mail handling at these two facilities and the United States Postal Service (USPS) V-Street feeder facility were placed on a 3-day course of prophylactic antibiotics.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Unidentified Hemorrhagic Fever in Angola

Via ProMED-mail: Prensa Latina reports that at least 56 Angolans, including 2 nurses, have died of an as-yet-unidentified hemorrhagic fever:
A medical source from Huige hospital told journalists they have termed this illness gastric hemorrhage. It begins with fever symptoms for two days and then the patient begins to cough up blood, falls into a coma, and dies within four days, he explained.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Typhoid Tran

The AP reports that a second nurse is showing symptoms of bird flu after treating a bird-flu patient in Vietnam:
The 21-year-old man is at the center of a cluster of bird flu cases that include his 14-year-old sister and 80-year-old grandfather, who has the virus without showing any symptoms.
Reuters reports on other asymptomatic cases.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Flesh-Eating Disease in Flagstaff

Via ProMED-mail: the Arizona Republic reports on two related cases of necrotizing fasciitis:
A patient with flesh-eating bacterium spread the infection to a health care worker at Flagstaff Medical Center, leaving both people hospitalized in serious condition.
The state Department of Health Services has asked doctors at the hospital to monitor other workers for symptoms, even though they don't think it has spread.
The DHS said the Flagstaff case represents the first documented case in Arizona of invasive Group A streptococcus spreading from a patient to a health care worker.
Officials at the medical center don't know how the disease was spread.