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Myocarditis Outbreak in Sri Lanka the Start of a Flu Pandemic?

Recombinomics Commentary
February 24, 2005

>>"Heart disease still baffling researchers: Health research authorities, who conducted intensive studies in an attempt to trace the cause of the heart ailment known as myocarditis, which is rapidly spreading in and around the Badulla district, have come up against a blank wall, health sources said  yesterday [22 Feb 2005].

"Over 170 cases of the heart ailment had been reported, and among them were  the medical staff members and 3 doctors who had treated the patients infected with the disease," a doctor attached to Badulla General Hospital told The Island yesterday [22 Feb 2005].

Blood samples of the patients were sent to the Medical Research Institute (MRI) 3 weeks ago, but they have not been able to identify the cause, he said, adding that the MRI has once said it was dengue fever only after testing 15 blood samples. However, cardiologists concluded that it is not dengue, but it could be myocarditis, which starts with a viral flu-like fever and will cause an inflammation of the heart, he said.<<

Remarkably, there is no mention of testing for influenza, even though outbreaks were reported in Sri Lanka before and after the tsunami.  Before the tsunami the fatal flu was diagnosed as influenza B and was in the southern portion of Sri Lanka.  After the tsunami there were mysterious flu deaths in the rebel controlled northeast.

The earlier media reports raised more questions than they answered.

The earlier diagnosis of dengue fever in the myocarditis cases is a concern.  The index case for the H5N1 human-to-human transmission cluster In Thailand was initially diagnosed as dengue fever and that was a common misdiagnosis in the 1918 pandemic.

The recent description of H5N1 cases that did not initially present as respiratory cases demonstrate that H5N1 can present differently and the virus can change quickly.

A bird flu with a tissue tropism for cardiac tissues cannot be ruled out without testing, which has not been mentioned, even though the number of cases has grown to 170 and now affects health care workers, a major red flag signaling the start of a flu pandemic.

Pandemic flu monitoring worldwide has moved beyond scandalous.

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