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Case Fatality Rate of Meningococcemia-like Disease and Bird Flu

Recombinomics Commentary
January 11, 2005

>>The Ministry of Health, Philippines has reported a total of 33 cases and 19 deaths, case fatality ratio of 58%, of a meningococcemia-like illness in Baguio City.. A total of 8 cases has been confirmed by blood culture as Neisseria Meningitidis A. However, the clinical presentation and the high case fatality ratio observed are unusual in epidemic meningococcal disease. Therefore, further epidemiological and laboratory investigations are needed to better characterize the cause and extent of the outbreak.<<

Today's comments by WHO highlight the high case fatality rate for the meningococcemia diagnosed disease in Bagio City and surrounding locations such as Sagada in the Philippines.  The case fatality rate of 58% is similar to the bird flu rate and the WHO commentary notes that the death rate and clinical presentation are unusual.  The disease is now being called meningococcemia-like.

The location of Bagio City, the recent curious WHO warning on bird flu, the timing of the outbreaks last year and this year, as well as the ability of avian influenza to become neurotropic are causes for concern. 

These concerns are heightened by the ability of the meningoccemia-like illness to be easily passed from human to human.

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