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Meningo Confirmed is Not Meningo-like Illness
January 13, 2005
>> BAGUIO CITY, Benguet, Philippines -- Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit confirmed on Thursday a case of meningococcemia infection in nearby Itogon town, Benguet province.
The latest victim is a 21-year-old man.
Dayrit ordered a contact tracing to determine how the man got infected. The man is confined at the Baguio General Hospital.
Dayrit told a press briefing here that meningococcemia cases in Baguio peaked in the first week of January but there had been no meningococcemia case recorded in the city in the past five days.<<
The latest report by WHO indicated that there have only been 8 confirmed meningococcemia cases in the Philippines and two fatalities (case fatality rate of 25%).
The command post in Baguio City will focus on meningococcemia-like (meningo-like) illness which has a case fatality rate of 68% and accounts for 17 or the 19 official fatalities (media reports suggest the number of cases and deaths are markedly higher than 17 deaths and 25 cases described in the WHO press release on meningo-like cases).
The case fatality rate for meningo-like illness is virtually identical to bird flu, and this week WHO warned of bird flu in the Sagada, near Baguio City because of H5N1 infected migratory birds which bring in sequences associated with avian influenza that infects people in Thailand and Vietnam.
There are few if any test results on the H5 status of meningo-like cases. These cases are passed human to human and the high case fatality rate presents serious public health problems, similar to those described for pandemic flu.