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Monitoring Respiratory Infections and Pneumonias for Bird Flu
January 4, 2005
>>A Singapore military medical unit has set up in Meulaboh and a surgical team established on Monday saw 150 patients in the first few hours, mainly with upper respiratory infections, unspecified infectious diseases, wounds and diarrhoea.<<
The above is from one of the locations hit hardest by the tsunami, but cases of respiratory infections and pneumonia are likely to appear in many locations. As the number of cases increase the potential for fatal flu in Sri Lanka or bird flu in Indonesia or Thailand to spread undetected increases.
Details on the fatal flu cases in southern Sri Lanka, such as Matara, Padanangala and Embilipitiya, nor have thee been details on the puzzling fatal flu cases in the north in Mullaittivu.
Although there have not been recent H5N1 bird flu reports in Indonesia or Thailand, there were several reports before the tsunami hit, and this is flu season for those countries. At this time last year there were widespread outbreaks in poultry in both countries and human cases in Thailand and Vietnam were just beginning to be reported.
Monitoring the pneumonias or upper respiratory conditions for influenza A or B remains a very high priority.