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Sagada Meningococcemia Cases and Bird Flu

Recombinomics Commentary
January 10, 2005

>>It has an incubation period of three to four days and symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, bruise-like rashes and eventually skin lesions.<<

The symptoms of the meningococcemia cases near Baguio City and bird flu deserve additional investigation.  Aggressive forms of influenza can have a neurological component and can present differently.  Many of the pandemic flu cases were mistakenly diagnosed as cholera, Dengue Fever, and malaria.  The first human flu virus isolated, WS/33, was passaged in mice in 1940 and a neurotropic variant, WSN/33, was isolated from mouse brains to study the neurological disease seen in pandemic flu patients.

One of the virulence assays for H5N1 is the ability to be passage in mice with associated recovery or virus from mouse brains or evidence of hind leg paralysis.  Frequently the designation of such viruses includes  NT for neurotropic or MB for mouse brain.

Recently 3000 ducks died in Vietnam with leg paralysis and they were considered cholera victims because the symptoms did not match those of bird flu from last year.

Most of the meningo cases in Sagada, Philippines or surrounding area have tested negative for meningo,  The cases began last season at about teh same time as H5N1 cases in Vietnam and Thailand were reported.  The number of reported meningo cases is increasing this season at the same time as reported H5N1 cases in Vietnam are increasing..

Testing of meningo cases for bird flu would be important, because the cases in the Baguio City area have been increasing via human to human transmission.

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