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Meningo-like Familial Cluster in Quezon

Recombinomics Commentary
January 30, 2005

>> A three-year-old boy died in a hospital here on Friday afternoon apparently from meningococcemia, the first such case in Quezon province.

The victim was identified as John Russel Ramos, of barangay Soledad, Mauban, Quezon. The boy's one-year-old brother, Jamaikie, was reported to have been infected by the killer virus and is now being treated at the San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila……

According to the victim's parents, Rico and Rosemarie Ramos, they were on vacation for more than a week in Manila before their son fell ill. They said their son then started to develop a fever on Thursday afternoon and the following day, Friday, he started to have convulsions.

The victim was first brought to Mauban District Hospital in Mauban town, about 45 kilometers from here. He was confined for three hours and then he was transferred to Tayabas Community Hospital around 5 p.m. At the emergency room the attending physician decided to transfer the patient to QMH. <<

Although meningococcemia is cause by a meningococcal bacterium, the above familial cluster sounds more like the meningo-like illness that is not laboratory confirmed and has a high case fatality rate similar to bird flu. Clusters have been noted in and around Baguio City, as well as other locations in the Philippines, including the Cebu City jail this month.

These clusters of cases should be tested for H5N1 avian influenza, which is also linked to clusters of cases in Vietnam this season.

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