Disease Updates 1/19 to...

Peter Petrisko ptp at primenet.com
Sat Jan 24 03:10:01 EST 1998


24 Jan. 1998  D isease  U pdates

U.S. - pertussis /Hong Kong /Fiji- dengue /EAST AFRICA - cholera /Rwanda
/Somalia- RVF /Ghana- meningitis /Dem Rep of Congo / 
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UNITED STATES - Recent studies have shown that among adults with a
persistent cough, one lasting more than 10 days or so, between 12% and 32%
actually have pertussis - also known as "whooping cough" - it was reported
earlier this month in an ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE article.
   Symptoms include racking fits of dry, breath-stopping deep coughs.
   It is often misdiagnosed as bronchitis or a bad cold.
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D.U. note - What struck me, about this misdiagnosed pertussis, was the
similarity between it and the number of cases reported in the last few
weeks along with the "mystery flu" cases. Some doctors believe two
distinct illnesses have been at work in many US states, and while one fits
the usual "flu" description (and probably is influenza A/Sydney), the
other has lacked the typical "muscle aches" symptom associated with flu,
but has been reported as having a "dry cough lasting for weeks" symptom.
Could 'whooping cough' be this second "mystery illness"?

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HONG KONG - The government here announced on Friday it will lift the ban
on live chicken imports from mainland China on February 7, it was reported
in a Reuters article today.
   Imports will be restricted to farms licensed & monitored by Chinese
quarantine officials.

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FIJI - There are an estimated 4,500 suspected cases of dengue fever, with
many cases showing signs of the more severe Dengue Hemorrhagic fever.
   In the last week, 300 cases were reported in the Western Division, and
up to 1,000 in the Central Division. At least 9 cases were confirmed in
the Northern Division in the last week.
   The outbreak of dengue, an infectious disease spread by mosquitos,
appears to be limited to the coastal towns and cities of Fiji's two
largest islands. Most affected areas are not major tourist destinations.

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OVERVIEW: EAST AFRICA
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   According to the World Health Organization (WHO), indications are a
cholera epidemic that has killed close to 4,000 people has peaked in the
region.
   The number of new cases in Uganda and Dijibouti are dropping, and the
outbreak in Kenya may also be subsiding.
   WHO called for the continuation of control measures, including
treatment and sanitation, to prevent a new surge in cases, the Associated
Press reported.

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RWANDA - WHO stated Rwanda is no longer at risk from the cholera outbreak.
   The country recorded 230 cases last year, but only 3 in December,
Agence France-Presse reported on Friday.

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SOMALIA - It was reported by Deutsche Press-Agentur that deaths due to
Rift Valley Fever are on an increase, just as cholera deaths have
decreased from 20% to 2%.

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GHANA - The official Ghana News Agency reported 6 meningitis deaths in the
Upper West area, and 3 deaths in the Upper East.
   According to a quoted public health official, health centers in the
Upper West region now have sufficient vaccines for those not vaccinated
during last year's outbreak.

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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (former Zaire) - As of last week, a total of
1,242 cholera cases were reported, with a 19% fatality rate, as posted on
WHO's Outbreak page.

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<end 24 Jan. 98 update>



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