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Bird Flu Not Ruled Out in Acute Hemorrhagic Fever in Angola

Recombinomics Commentary
March 22, 2005

>>  The results of blood samples sent to Senegal showed that the mysterious outbreak was not due to yellow fever, dengue fever, the West Nile virus, the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever or rift valley fever, said Moises Francisco, a member of the Angolan technical team monitoring the outbreak in Uige.

Angolan health officials have asked the Centres for Disease Control in the United States to conduct tests to determine whether the fever is caused by the Ebola virus.

"We have the results (from Senegal) and they are negative," said Van Dunem. "We are now awaiting the results of the Ebola tests that we have asked from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta."

Angolan health officials said that eight cases of the haemorrhagic fever were detected in municipalities near the city of Uige. <<

The updated information indicates that Influenza A has not been ruled out in acute hemorrhagic fever cases in Angola, which is cause for concern.  The bird flu index case in Thailand last year was misdiagnosed as dengue hemorrhagic fever.  Other H5N1 have also been thought to be dengue fever, and such cases have been on the rise in Thailand and Indonesia.  H5N1 infections with dengue hemorrhagic fever symptoms could be easily misdiagnosed, as has happened with H5N1 infections, as well as pandemic flu infections in 1918.

Although the WHO has acknowledged that H5N1 infections can produce a variety of non-respiratory diseases, and that clusters of unexplained deaths would be tested for H5N1, the above report gives no indication of such testing.

Most of the deaths in Angola have been children.  Initial H5N1 infections in Hanoi in December of 2003 were also predominantly children.

Failure to test the hemorrhagic fever cases in Angola remains remarkable.

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