Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Convergence of diseases in Papua New Guinea?

Preliminary reports out of Papua New Guinea suggest that 47 people have died and 2,000 have become ill from what seems to possibly be simultaneous outbreaks of influnenza like illness and dysentery. When don't know whether of not this is novel H1N1, but it's an important reminder that influenza outbreaks can really have substantial impact on areas with already fragile health systems.

"TWIN outbreaks of a mystery flu and dysentery in a remote region of Papua New Guinea have killed 47 people and infected another 2,000 villagers, a senior medical official said on Monday.

And a separate eruption of cholera in the Pacific island nation has killed seven adults and sickened 73 other people, provincial health adviser Theo Likei told AFP.

Twenty-seven villagers in the Menyamya district of Morobe province, on the northeast coast, have died from an as-yet unidentified influenza since August 3, while a further 20 were felled by dysentery.

'Roughly 2,000 people are sick in about 12 villages and we suspect influenza and dysentery are the cause,' Mr Likei told AFP.

'So far there have been about 47 deaths, about 90 per cent of them in the village of Akwanda,' where 95 per cent of the reported flu and dysentery infections were reported."


No comments: