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Tsunami-Linked Respiratory Disease Monitoring

Recombinomics Commentary

January 2, 2005

>>"The relief effort has brought a number of people from around the globe to a region not affected only by the tsunami but also by avian influenza [bird flu]," he said.<<

The conditions in the tsunami affected regions remain primed for the spread of respiratory disease.  There are reports of children developing such disease from exposure and crowded conditions facilitate spread.

The fatal flu outbreaks in southern Sri Lanka were in Matara, Padanangala and Embilipitiya and several cases were diagnosed as influenza B with an associated high case fatality rate.  Fatal flu has already been reported in Mullaittivu, which is in the northeast corner of Sri Lanka, raising concerns of additional spread.

China is sending experts who have had experience controlling avian flu, which is also a concern for Indonesia and Thailand.

The reported respiratory diseases that have already begun to appear at treatment centers warrant close monitoring for the spread of fatal flu associated with influenza B in Sri Lanka or avian flu (H5N1) in Indonesia and Thailand.

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