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WHO Reinforcements to Baguio City - Bird Flu?

Recombinomics Commentary
January 19, 2005

>> Bertherat said they will study other factors that could have contributed to the upsurge of people with fever and hemorrhagic rash.

In a statement, Dr. Jean Marc Olive, WHO country representative, said the situation in Baguio "needs to be better understood."

Since 2004, Olive noted that 19 Baguio residents have died of meningococcemia.

"This is an exceptionally high fatality rate for meningococcal infection so we are treating the situation seriously. However, we need to know how many of these suspected cases were really due to meningococcal infection and not other causes," he said.<<

To better understand the situation in Baguio City and the rest of the cases in the Philippines with "hemorrhagic rash" the patients need to be tested for bird flu.  The case fatality rate for meningococcemia-like illness is almost identical to that of H5N1 avian influenza.

Cases in the 1918 flu pandemic were frequently misdiagnosed (as cholera, dengue fever, and typhoid).  Some media reports indicated meningococcemia-like cases were really typhoid.  Both H5N1 and 1918 pandemic were associated with bleeding from various sites.  The 1918 pandemic cases included hemorrhagic rash (petechial hemorrhages in the skin).

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