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WHO Virologists Going to Sri Lanka

Recombinomics Commentary
February 27, 2005

>>  A total of 184 patients suffering from this health ailment have been reported from Badulla and Moneragala districts.

"Of this, there are 64 confirmed cases while others are considered as suspected cases," the official said.

The symptoms of the disease include difficulty in breathing, chest pain and high palpitation.

Eight confirmed cases are being treated at the Badulla Hospital and six others at the Cardiology Unit of the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) .

"These patients are undergoing special medical tests at the CNH and if necessary, they will be referred to laboratories of private hospitals for any other additional research," the official said.

A separate ward has also been set up at the Badulla Hospital for patients suffering from the disease and in the future, all new patients suspected of suffering from this disease will be admitted to this ward.

Meanwhile, the WHO has expressed willingness to extend its assistance to deal with the emergency. Following a discussion at the Health Ministry, WHO's Representative in Sri Lanka Dr. Kan Tun has agreed to provide drugs to treat the patients.

"A special WHO team will be arriving in Sri Lanka shortly to assess the situation here and assist in medical research. This team will comprise doctors, virologists, epidemiologists etc," the official added.

The Health Ministry also appealed to the public not to panic over this disease and advised persons bearing the above symptoms to seek treatment at a Government Hospital.

The situation in Sri Lanka sounds quite serious and is growing.  WHO is sending in a team and medications.  Medications seem to indicate a diagnosis has been made, but details are not forthcoming. 

Since Sri Lanka had flu problems previously and they are positioned to have additional problems due to H3N2 A/California/7, or H5N1, or Influenza B, it is not clear what virus is causing the myocarditis, but there is a good chance that Tamiflu is included in the medications.

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